For the first assignment of the week, the story I choose to analyze was Maleficent. Maleficent, while perceived as a villain, has never been evil-hearted. I have always loved Maleficent and admired her tenacity. I feel that she is misunderstood and as such she has always resonated with me. I believe everything she did was to protect her daughter. Maleficent was betrayed, angry, and hurt and she retaliated with her full might and wrath. To me, that is fair and dare I say empowering. If Maleficent, expressing her feelings, fighting back when provoked, and defending herself, makes her a villain, then I guess you can call me a villain too.
The version of Maleficent that I am analyzing for the assignment is the most recent film adaptation that came out in 2019. I choose this version because it does a good job of showing another side of Maleficent. Maleficent II depicts her in a more maternal side of her personality as well as giving a backstory and an explanation to why she has been seen as “evil” or “destructive.” To take a villain and make a film essentially telling a story that makes an audience like her and root for her makes this film an example of great storytelling.
Maleficent II uses the concept of the shapes of stories that Vonneut discusses. Vonenut states that the most intriguing stories are not linear but instead the ones with ups and downs. I would say Maleficent II builds her story in a series of ups and downs in terms of the Queen’s conniving plans and Maleficent’s battle to defend the fairies and, her success in defeating the Queen even after presumably dying in battle.
The ups, the downs, the suspense, the thrill is what makes the film so good. The film shows how fiercely Maleficient defends both her daughter and the faries, this depiction of her maternal and more dofter side makes this film redefine the audience’s perception of a figure meant to be a “villain.” There is a theme of pure intentions, fearlessness, and defending those who can’t defend themselves. This theme is critical in redefining Maleficent as an empowering figure as opposed to the previous misconception of her.
Below, I’m going to share my favorite scene in the beginning of the movie:
In just this two-minute clip from the film, yous undoubtedly fall in love with Maleficent and the complexity of her character. The beginning of the film depicts Maleficent’s humor, her protectiveness and tenderness. How can a godmother who saved Aurora’s life and gave in to a hug be a villain? The movie completely destroys any bias one might have against Maleficent and show’s her good will and tendencies which is why when conflict arises with the queen, the audience roots for Maleficent’s victory.