I’ve said before how Hollywood should probably only be making films for kids, since what they churn out for adults is such consistent crap. I mean mind-numbingly stupid: of, by, and for dumb people.
Maleficent is not dumb, however. The first film was an intense allegory about rape and its aftermath. Maleficent 2 may be even better, a War & Peace for the next generation. It’s also a women-centered story, strong female characters, with plenty of action.
At the heart, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a story about racism, xenophobia, militarism. The Fae are the outsiders, and the humans have armed themselves with greater and greater weapons to compete with the magical powers of the forest creatures. The world is immersive and fantastical, straight from current fantasy novels. I even caught glimpses of similarities to my own fantasy book: Demigods.
The five-year-old in our group was less interested in the movie than in climbing and perching on top of theater seats, but I found the entire drama fascinating. This was so well done, every facet, and it should be an instant classic. I can see why the five-year-old crowd may need singing and dancing to hold attention–but I certainly don’t.
The stakes are metaphorical, but the plotting is tight. The characters are deep enough, and the psychological scenario is all too true. Honestly, I liked this better than Joker.