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One of Disney's most memorable villains gets to tell her side of the story of
in this enjoyable reworking of the fairy tale. Angelina Jolie stars as Maleficent, the protector of the fairy realm, who is betrayed by her childhood sweetheart, Stefan (Sharlto Copley), and takes her revenge by cursing his first-born child, Aurora. But in this version of events, Maleficent increasingly finds her resolve weakening as she plays surrogate mother to the girl, which adds a further touch of foreboding as that fateful appointment with a spinning wheel draws closer. Jolie is the undoubted star of the show: clad in black with chiselled cheekbones, devilish horns and blood-red lipstick, she's both sinister and alluring, and brings a delectable wit to the scenes with her shape-shifting henchman, played by Sam Riley. Sadly, some of the other characters fare less well, with Copley a vengeful king riddled with inconsistencies, Elle Fanning a vacuous if winsome Aurora, and the slapstick comic relief of Imelda Staunton and her fairy helpers falling flat. First-time director Robert Stromberg has enjoyed a long and successful career in visual effects and production design, and it's these elements that work best, with plenty of magical moments and
Lord of the Rings
-style battles to savour.
may not leave you spellbound, but there's plenty here to enchant and entertain.
Premiere. A fairy falls in love with an ambitious human nobleman, who betrays her in pursuit of claiming the throne. She swears to get revenge on him by placing a curse on his daughter, only to find herself developing a maternal bond with the girl. Fantasy adventure based on the story of Sleeping Beauty, starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley and Imelda Staunton.
Cast & Crew
DVD and Blu-ray
23 May 2014
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