I have always been drawn to Disney villainesses. I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it’s because the bad guy is just about always more interesting than the hero. Madame Medusa, Ursula the Sea Witch, Queen Grimhilde, and especially my darling Cruella De Vil, they’re all fascinating to watch. And way up there on the list has always been Maleficent. So when I heard they were making a movie told from her point of view I was a little ambivalent. It seemed a given that, if the movie was about her, she would reform in the end. What would happen, then, to her lovely awfulness?
I was right, of course. She does reform at the end. But getting there was worth the disappointment. Turns out the real villain of the piece is King Stefan, who really, really, really done her wrong. If what he did to her happened to me, I’d embrace evil and revenge just like she did.
The SFX are good, as practically all of them are these days. But I have to say the chief reason for seeing this is just to watch Angelina Jolie. She has always had a striking face, and the make-up and effects people have enhanced it with lips red as a poison apple, and cheekbones they must have honed with a diamond cutter. You would have to kiss her carefully; you could cut yourself on those cheekbones.