We’ve all heard of the story of the dark sorceress who was snubbed from the royal christening. She gifts the baby princess with a deathly wish, Aurora grows up and pricks her finger as foretold, falls into a deep sleep instead (Merriwether’s handiwork) and is saved by a dashing prince who slays the dragon and thereafter plants his true love’s kiss on Sleeping Beauty. That’s the fairytale in two sentences.
Drew Barrymore brought Cinderella to life on the big screen via the movie “Ever After”. Her cruel stepmother was played by the indefatigable Angelica Houston (The Witches, Addams Family). Then Kristen Stewart (of “Twilight” fame) played Snow White and battled against the beautiful Charlize Theron (Evil Queen ) in “Snow White and the Hunstman”. Playing Princess seems to be in vogue these days as another cherub-like actress is cast to play the king’s daughter. Elle Fanning (Dakota’s younger sister) plays Aurora and her curse-wielding hater is no less than Hollywood’s true royalty Angelina Jolie. All vilainnesses are wide -ranged thespians (Oscar winners-all), have high, sculptured cheekbones and eyebrows that are trained to arch this way and that. But more on the actors later.
In the latest Disney offering, moviegoers get to know the “real” Maleficent. She is a young, black-winged fairy who is pure in spirit and is the strongest defender of her realm against those who live on the other side (the humans). The tree-guards capture a human boy because of thievery, she forgives him and they become friends. The boy Stephan learns that iron hurts the fairies. Their friendship turns into affection and on Maleficent ‘s sixteenth birthday he kisses her as a sign of his true love.
Stephan becomes occupied with worldly ambitions and forgets about his fairy girlfriend. Maleficent grows stronger– so strong that she was able to defeat the king’s army. The king promises the throne to whoever can kill Maleficent. Scheming Stephan returns to the magical realm, tricks Maleficent into drinking wine laced with sleeping potion and slices her wings. This is probably the most poignant scene in the movie. Maleficent wakes up and realizes that not only has she been betrayed but she has been violated as well. She screams.
Betrayal does things to a woman. Maleficent picks up herself, changes her attitude and plans revenge. She arrives uninvited to the castle, brings King Stephan to his knees and triumphantly announces that only true love’s kiss can break her lifetime spell of sleep-like death. She knows for sure that the princess is doomed because “true love’s kiss” does not exist. The King entrusts the baby to three half-wit fairies and orders all the spinning wheels destroyed. But unlike the fairytale that we’ve all come to believe, it is Maleficent that takes care of “Beastie” ( her nickname for the princess). The three fairies are bumbling characters with their magic and a trainwreck without their wands.
With her shapeshifting black crow, Maleficent watches over Aurora as the child grows up. She reveals herself to the girl and was surprised when the princess says. “I know who you are! YOU”RE MY GODMOTHER! Your shadow has been following me ever since I was small!” Maleficent realizes that she cares for Beastie and tries to reverse the curse. I will stop here so as not to spoil the ending for you. Remember though that this is a fairy tale and all have happy endings.
From being a self-destructing addict in “Girl Interrupted” to being an undercover spy in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith ” to playing my most favorite villainess “Maleficent”, Angelina Jolie has proven that she’s a true chameleon. Her razor sharp cheekbones are enough to kill Stephan, in my opinion. (Why oh why didn’t they cast a better looking actor to play Stephan?!! Were Bradley Cooper, Gerard Butler, or Rodrigo Santoro all on vacation???) The one brow lift, the appropriate “uh’s” and the facial expressions that only Jolie can muster makes me want to practice in front of the mirror. Hahaha
RAISING A STREET SMART PRINCESS AND A TRUE BLUE PRINCE
There are quite a few learnings from this movie. All girls will experience first love, heartbreak and hopefully true love in their lifetime. The road to adolescence however is never easy. As a parent to a three year old daughter, I will warn her about the pitfalls of “falling” in love. In the movie, Maleficent was assaulted while she was passed out and helpless. This can very well happen (and has in fact happened to many victims) in real life. We must do our part in educating our daughters and ALSO our sons. It’s not enough to be a beautiful girl, we must tell our daughters that being level-headed is also a must. There is a time to love, a time to say “NO” and a time to let go. And if there’s a fitting example as to how to find and treat a girlfriend , it is Paolo Ledesma ‘s advice to his son Diego (from the PLDTHome DSL TV campaign “Ask Diego) that sums it all — “Treat her like your MAMA.” Falling in love can be a beautiful thing if both individuals have good intentions. MALEFICENT has certainly taught us that true love comes in many forms — and in the film, from the most unlikely person.
*Pictures from the movie are from the FB page of Maleficent. No infringement intended.
THE BQP’S ROYAL QUESTIONS
You may answer any of the following
1. Who is your favorite DISNEY villain and why?
2. Who is your favorite DISNEY princess and why?
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With a pocketful of glitter,