Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Care and Celebration

By Dr. Ahmed Saeed Minhas | December 2019
Cast:   Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning,
Michelle Pfieffer, Harris
Dickinson, Sam Riley,
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ed Skrein, etc.
Director: Joachim Rønning
Writers: Linda Woolverton, Noah
Harpster and Micah
Fitzerman-Blue
Running Time: 118 minutes

Building upon the previous theme of ‘Maleficent’, a live-action fantasy drama, the new ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ is more complex, dealing with obstacles of familial ties while offering new characters and background to its fairytale world. With Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, the horned creature from Disney’s 1959 animated classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’, the sequel has no connection to the classic anymore. The screenwriter Linda Woolverton, along with scriptwriters Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue, adds a feminine touch to the story portraying Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Michelle Pfeiffer (Queen Ingrith) and Elle Fanning (Aurora) as three contrasting archetypes of femininity. The film is a melodramatic anti-war tale and is much more action-packed than the first instalment.

Five years after the events of the first film when Maleficent’s adopted daughter Aurora was declared as the Queen of the Moors, Aurora and Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) are planning for a wedding. They both are of the view that their engagement will unite both the human kingdom and magical forests of Moors that is under the protection of Aurora and Maleficent. But things take a wrong turn when the two attend an engagement celebration dinner at Prince Philip’s castle with King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith of Ulstead. Though Maleficent tries hard to plaster a smile and impress Philip’s parents, Queen Ingrith’s behaviour makes it all worse.

While the first film shows Maleficent’s former love King Stephan as the one who tries to destroy her, the sequel shows Ingrith as a genocidal hatemonger who wants to rule the Moors. From serving squab, which requires one winged creature to eat another, to furnishing the dinner table with utensils made of iron (fairies are allergic to iron); Ingrith’s ways of inflaming Maleficent proves her cruelty. The clash between the two results in an ugly spat between Aurora and Maleficent that might alter their relationship. Also when Aurora tries to warm up to her new in-laws, Maleficent discovers her heritage as a dark fae, a race of fairies who went into hiding after being hunted nearly to extinction. Further, it explains why Maleficent looks different from the rest of the Moors creatures but fails to clarify how she gets to the Moors in the first place.

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