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June 23, 2017

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Maleficent, a twist of the classic villain

Following big box office smash "Frozen," Disney presents "Maleficent." However, with many fairly violent scenes, it might not be the best movie to watch on family night.

The film unveils the untold story of one of Disney's most well-known villains, a character we all know from "Sleeping Beauty," with Angelina Jolie cast in the title role. The plot of the movie is quite predicable and comes without too many surprises. It also omits many debatable points to make Aurora (Elle Fanning) the happiest, most innocent and naive girl in the world.

However, Disney, as one of the most influential creators of the happy ever after fairy tale, has made a big break-through with "Maleficent." Instead of having the charming prince save the angelic princess with a true-love-kiss, Aurora is saved by another kind of true love that doesn't require a handsome prince on horseback. With the casting of Jolie, this is even more convincing since many people look up to her as a role model for independent women in real life. With more films like this, the number of little girls growing up dreaming of meeting the perfect prince who will fight the dragon would certainly decrease.

In terms of acting, the movie doesn't allow Jolie to roll out her best skills. And the image before she encounters a betrayal that leads her to revenge just doesn't match with the once bright and happy young Maleficent (played by Isobelle Moloy) who has lovely curls and an outgoing, sweet personality. In a role demanding little more than a few screams and some tearing looks, Jolie doesn't have too many lines to say. However, her prominent face and enlarged cheekbones leave a vivid impression on the audience.

Fanning displays only one emotion throughout the film, showing off her best smiles, while Sharlto Copley (Stefan) plays a king who is drowning in his own regret and sorrows because he is incapable of fighting against human weakness.

Overall, for cinemagoers who expect complex drama and deep thinking, or who anticipate a fairy tale movie suitable for young children, "Maleficent" probably shouldn't be the first choice Movie Review on the list.

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