Maleficent (2014)

Maleficent Poster

A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal – an act that begins to turn her heart into stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading King's successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom – and to Maleficent's true happiness as well.

Plot Summary
The film "Maleficent", directed by Robert Stromberg and released in 2014, reviews the popular story of Sleeping Appeal, but this time from the point of view of the villain, Maleficent. Angelina Jolie stars as the eponymous character, offering a nuanced and understanding interpretation of Disney's infamous dark fairy.

Background & Setup
The story starts in the mystical world of the Moors, where Maleficent, a young and strong fairy, lives. She befriends Stefan, a human orphan, and gradually, their friendship blooms into love. However, Stefan's aspiration for the throne betrays Maleficent and leaves her sad.

Vengeance on Stefan
Stefan, taken in by his aspiration, ascends to be the king. He betrays Maleficent by stealing her wings, leaving her powerless and in unbearable pain. In return for the agonizing betrayal, Maleficent curses Stefan's newborn daughter, Aurora, mentioning that she will fall into a sleep-like death upon pricking her finger on a spindle on her sixteenth birthday.

Relationship with Aurora
Contrary to the initial Sleeping Beauty story, Maleficent grows near to Aurora, who considers her a fairy godmother. The hatred she holds for Stefan does not extend to his innocent daughter. Over time, their bond deepens, and Maleficent attempts to revoke her curse, only to discover it irrevocable.

Aurora's Curse and Resolution
As ordained, Aurora punctures her finger on a spindle on her sixteenth birthday, falling under a deep sleep. Grief-stricken, Maleficent brings Aurora's youth buddy, Prince Philip, to kiss her, wanting to break the curse. When it stops working, Maleficent, filled with remorse, confesses her love for Aurora and kisses her forehead, which surprisingly lifts the curse.

Fight Scene & Conclusion
The tail end of the film includes an epic battle in between Maleficent and King Stefan. Regardless of his ruthless attacks, Maleficent subdues Stefan. However, she picks not to eliminate him, but he ends up falling to his death while attacking her. On the other hand, her wings go back to her, making her more powerful. The movie concludes with Aurora becoming the queen of the Moors while Maleficent supervises her with happiness and pride.

Crucial Analysis and Final Thoughts
"Maleficent" uses a fresh and compassionate take on a renowned bad guy, diving much deeper into the character and exposing her terrible backstory, terrible betrayal, and mission for redemption. The movie challenges the conventional conception of villains, painting Maleficent as a complex character with both great and wicked within her. The movie provides a strong message that like comes in numerous forms and can repair even the inmost wounds.

With spectacular visuals and a fascinating plot twist, "Maleficent" takes audiences on a magical, psychological journey, presenting a tale of love, revenge, and ultimately, forgiveness. Jolie provides a standout efficiency, providing gravitas to Maleficent's journey from innocence to vengeance and lastly redemption.

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