Second "Maleficent" movie continues magical storytelling
"Maleficent" was not the end of the story as the next chapter continues in "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” which is playing in theatres now.
Whether you enjoyed "Maleficent" or not will affect whether you enjoy the second installment: "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil." While the film has many good aspects, such as the actors, the cinematography, and the character designs, the film also has some negative aspects, such as some of the writing and the supporting cast.
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" is a sequel to the 2014 movie "Maleficent," which was a remake of Walt Disney's 1959 "Sleeping Beauty." The film was directed by Joachim Rønning and stars Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Elle Fanning as Aurora, Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith, Sam Riley as Diaval, Harris Dickinson as Prince Phillip and Robert Lindsay as King John.
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" takes place five years after "Maleficent." The film begins with three men going into the moor to capture fay, fairy-like creatures; two are killed and one escapes with a fay. These events have repercussions later in the movie.
The scene then transitions to Queen Aurora holding court with the fay; the scene telling the audience that several fay have gone missing and the rest are discontent. As Aurora reassures them that they need peace between the humans and fay, three of the fairies from the first film come up to her, taking her crown and leading her to a willow tree, where Prince Phillip is waiting to propose marriage to her, which she accepts. Maleficent's raven servant Diaval then flies off to tell her the news, and she is not pleased by it.
Phillip returns to Ulstead, where he tells his parents that Aurora accepted his proposal. His father is quite happy, but Queen Ingrith is noticeably less excited. At a banquet to celebrate the engagement, the tension escalates between Maleficent and Ingrith, which results with Maleficent flying off after seemingly cursing King John, leaving a distraught Aurora behind. The movie then goes into Maleficent learning about her origin and Aurora questioning who she is and where she belongs.
The main cast of characters are well written. Maleficent has trouble controlling her emotions and dealing with the changes in Aurora's life, but she still cares about her as a mother figure. Aurora benefited the most from "Maleficent." In the original "Sleeping Beauty," she was on screen for 18 minutes, so the character was not well developed. In "Maleficent," she was much more active, and this continues in "Mistress of Evil."
Queen Ingrith has motivations for her behavior that makes her understandable but not in the right, and she also acts as a mother figure towards Aurora, but in a way where she serves as a foil to Maleficent. The relationship between Aurora and Phillip is also quite sweet, with Phillip reassuring Aurora that he loves her for who she is when she questions her identity and supporting her during the climax.
However, the supporting cast of characters don't stand out and are mostly forgettable. For example, Ingrith's right-hand woman plays a somewhat significant role in the film, but I cannot recall her name, nor did I care what happened to her. I also don't feel that the second act developed the plot lines well, dividing time between Aurora and Maleficent, but not really going in depth with the themes of identity in the movie.
If you are a fan of "Maleficent," then "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" is worth watching. While not as good as the first movie, the main cast still makes it an enjoyable experience. It will mostly appeal to young adults. The computer-generated imagery was also well done, especially with the fay designs. The movie is not for everyone, but if you are a fan of fantasy films, then "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" will be an enjoyable viewing experience. Made by Walt Disney Pictures and Roth Films and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture, the film is rated PG and is playing in theaters now.
photo courtesy of Disney Movies