Warning: This post includes possible spoilers!!!
I recently went to the theater and saw Maleficent with my sister… yes, two grown ass women free from their children for the night went to see a Disney movie… it happens! Stop judging.
Anyway, I’m trying not to put any spoiler alerts in here, so I’ll just say Wow, Avatar eat your heart out as far as imaginative graphics go. Of course Angelina Jolie is still one of my favorite actresses of all times and we got to see little Vivian Jolie-Pitt in her first role for like 5 seconds. It was adorable.
The movie reminded me of previous posts I’ve written about the variety of ‘versions’ we have these days. New ‘twists’ on old fairytales that were either really great, or failed miserably. Most importantly, why we’re so attracted to them, why we’ll spend our only free night away from kids watching them, instead of saving the local bar from it’s overabundance of Fireball. I think the reason, as I’ve stated before, is because they’re so much a part of our formative years. They’re entwined with our childhood memories and the development of our little brains, or at least learning good from evil, right from wrong.
But when does a ‘twist’ twist too far? Creatively, there should be no limits, really. But are we willing to sacrifice everything we’ve ever known to see our heroes and villains twisted into one another? Then what are we left with? Villeroes? Herlains?
I’m a confessed gamer and fan of the Kingdom Heart series, where aside from the bumbling Pete from the old Mickey Mouse cartoons, Maleficent plays a major Villainous role. That’s her thing, though. Her gig. She’s the unrepentant, unabashed, laughing in the glory of her own wretched, wicked ways, kind of villain. We don’t see very many of those anymore. Ever since she rolled out of the Grimm tales and onto the ‘animated’ silver screen, Maleficent has been the classiest villainess we’ve ever met. She’s dramatic without being psycho (Cruella) and knows how to lay down a curse! She’s also impossible to kill. I mean, really, all she does is turn into green vapor-fire. You can’t kill green vapor-fire, everyone knows that! She will always find a way to come back!
I’m simply torn. I liked the movie. The new ‘twist’ on an old tale. Told from the villain’s point of view this time, rather than the heroine’s. I also like the underlying message it puts out there, that we should question the ‘history’ we’ve always been taught. That the true enemy is often times, those we throw the parade for, not the other way around. Yet, at the same time, I have this deep-seeded desire to scream “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Let villains be villains and heroes be heroes! You can twist things up without taking away the core of the characters as we know them. Give the villains a background if you must, make them more likeable, easier to sympathize with, but dammit, in the end… leave them villains.