I saw Maleficent over the weekend, and I’m still kind of processing it. I can’t remember the last time I really struggled with how I thought about a movie, but here we are. My thoughts are really scattered, so bear with me.
First of all, the thing that really fascinates me about Maleficent as a movie is that it absolutely failed in its objective of telling the Sleeping Beauty story from Maleficent’s point of view.
FIRST ANALYSIS: Who’s story was it anyway? Maleficent or Princess Aurora?
The title may have been Maleficent, but a large majority of time was spent watching Princess Aurora plod around in the forest. And isn’t Aurora great? With her blonde hair and her wide-eyed wonder and unmarred etherial innocence? Very little time is actually spent learning about Maleficent’s backstory.
What do we really know about Maleficent? We know that she really loves the moors (the name of her fairyland) and her wings. We also know that she meets a young human boy, befriends him, and then falls in love with him later. We don’t actually see this romantic relationship play out; we’re just told that it happens. The young teen fairy and the young future King Stefan plot could have been interesting. We could have seen her teaching him, falling in love with him, growing with him.
Or screw the men—the film could have just focused on Maleficent! Why not spend some time with a young fairy coming into her powers? Instead, most of Maleficent’s camera time is spent spying on Sleeping Beauty.
SECOND ANALYSIS: There was a Queer view to the story and I am not the only one who thought that.
In my humble opinion, there seemed to be some major lesbian subtext going on (although Maleficent being significantly older than Aurora is kind of squicky).
But hear me out.
There is the whole healing kiss thing, and to be honest, I thought Aurora was going to kiss Maleficent during the coronation scene at the very end, too. I know this just might be me wanting to queer every possible piece of media, but it’s very easy for me to imagine Maleficent and Aurora ruling the fairy (faerie?) realm together as queens and lovers down the road.
At any rate, if one thing is for sure, it’s that Maleficent and Aurora love each other, although whether that’s familial or something else is up to the viewer I suppose.
Some of you probably thought it a mother’s kiss and that’s understandable but it’s easy to take it the other way also.
Lastly, why didn’t Maleficent turn into dragon? In the fairy tale she turned into the dragon. With this fantasy re-write, she turned the man into the dragon while she became the hero with a kiss of true love.
Maybe it’s just me.
SLATE.com – Maleficent: As Queer As It Is Kid-Friendly