Maleficent Movie Review: a Fresh Take on The Sleeping Beauty

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About this sample


Words: 781 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018

Words: 781|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018


“Maleficent may be known as a wicked villainess but she didn’t start off that way.” Maleficent is not your typical fairy-tale villainess, as the eponymous movie reveals. This story of a powerful fairy and her journey of betrayal, love, and redemption is beautifully portrayed by Angelina Jolie. This Maleficent movie review essay will explore the character development and plot twists of this unique take on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty. The film presents a fresh perspective on the fairy tale, showing Maleficent’s tragic past and how it led her to become the “mistress of all evil.” As the story unfolds, Maleficent’s character evolves, and viewers see how her heart becomes hardened by the pain of betrayal. However, it is the love of a child that softens her heart once again. The movie also explores themes of forgiveness, revenge, and the power of true love. Overall, Maleficent is a well-made movie that offers a fresh take on the Sleeping Beauty tale and provides a deeper insight into the character of Maleficent.

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The story starts with meeting Maleficent as a child living alone in a tree, orphaned. In these early stages, Maleficent is confident and gentle. Then the story follows Maleficent’s encounter with Stefan, a boy from the surrounding village belonging to the King, and her young-adult ventures. Her friendship with Stefan is an untraditional friendship because fairies and humans are natural enemies in this time. One morning, the King comes against the moors in a brutally-forceful gesture to win the land for his own; however, it overthrown and dies from his attacker, Maleficent. Being in the King’s inner-circle, Stefan takes it upon himself to kill Maleficent. His devotion and love for Maleficent thwarts this attempt at betrayal.

Unfortunately, Maleficent wakes from an induced sleep to find herself wingless. At once, Maleficent turns into a dominating, guarded, and wrathful individual; swearing a vengeance on Stefan for taking away her wings for personal gain. She manages to obtain a crow, Diaval, deviating his death from being a meal, and persuading him into being her eyes and ears in the castle. In the months to follow, Stefan father’s a daughter. A majority of the story revolves around the relationship between Maleficent and Aura, Stefan’s daughter. At her christening, Aura is cursed by Maleficent; on her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a sleep like death with only true loves kiss to remove the spell. Aura grows-up and lives with Knotgrass, Thistlewit, and Flittle, three fairies; however, Maleficent is ever watchful of the little princess. After a few encounters and observations, Maleficent reveals herself to Aura and begins to like the girl. Aura learns that Maleficent is the one that cursed her from childhood, that Stefan is her father, and that the moors are suffering from the onslaught of attacks from the humans outside of the forest. Aura does meet Phillip, a strapping young prince that does not free her from the spell. Maleficent learns that Aura escaped her fairy keepers and returned to her father’s castle on the day of her sixteenth year.

The story ends with Maleficent being the one to awaken Aura, removing the curse with her own love for the girl. In the meantime, a fight breaks-out between Stefan’s men and Maleficent. It results in Maleficent transforming Diaval into a dragon and Aura finding a pair of wings in a chamber; a moment of truth that it had been Stefan that had brought about all these shortcomings. Maleficent receives her wings and flees the kingdom, letting Stefan drop to his death in his last attempt to kill her. Aura becomes Queen and lives in the moors, establishing a peace between the two races of fairies and humans.

My favourite scene happened in the beginning with the christening. Maleficent, uninvited and unwanted, appears and threatens Stefan, the man who stole her wings, with her presence. I like that Maleficent felt no guilt at taking revenge on the one that had brought about her downfall.

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In my opinion, the movie is trying to convey that human nature in each and every individual consists of evil elements, but whoever he or she chooses to become is solely in their own hands. In this world, there are evil and good. The battleline between good and evil runs through the heart of every man as per Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quoted. However, humans have the ability and option to select. The evil and good will be fighting in humans’ mind and the one you feed the most will win and prevail. Thus, life is about the choices we had and the selection we make.


Moors,Curse,The Spell,KILL

Works Cited

  1. Green, R. (2014). Maleficent (Movie Review). Empire Magazine, (300), 114-115.
  2. Travers, P. (2014). Maleficent: Film Review. Rolling Stone, (1216), 54.
  3. Dargis, M. (2014). Angelina Jolie as Maleficent in the Disney Film. The New York Times.
  4. Kermode, M. (2014). Maleficent Review – ‘Magical, Exciting and Full of Surprises’. The Guardian.
  5. Chang, J. (2014). Maleficent Movie Review & Film Summary (2014).
  6. Collin, R. (2014). Maleficent, review: ‘Jolie is magnetic’. The Telegraph.
  7. Gleiberman, O. (2014). Film Review: ‘Maleficent’. Variety.
  8. Stasio, M. (2014). TV Review: ‘Maleficent’. Variety.
  9. Scherstuhl, A. (2014). How Maleficent Turned the Fairy Tale Around. The Village Voice.
  10. Puig, C. (2014). Review: ‘Maleficent’ Is Enchanting. USA Today.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The story of Maleficent. (2023, March 22). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from
“The story of Maleficent.” GradesFixer, 22 Mar. 2023,
The story of Maleficent. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 1 Mar. 2024].
The story of Maleficent [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Mar 22 [cited 2024 Mar 1]. Available from:
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