I absolutely loved Maleficent even more than I anticipated. It moved me deeply and touched me in ways I hadn’t expected, especially for a Disney movie. I am hoping that someone will write up all the symbolism and meaning, the mother/daughter stuff, the way women’s wings get clipped and how, in our damage, we wound our daughters, but I’m not going to do that today. Nevertheless, I am anxious for someone to write that up.
I want to state upfront that I loved it because now I’m going to talk about the things that could have been better, in my humble opinion. In the scheme of the movie they aren’t huge, but I just needed to get them off my chest so I can continue my love affair with the rest of it.
The main failing, in my opinion, was the lack of true characterization for Stefan. I would have much preferred being shown Stefan’s greed and ambition, rather than just being told of it. I’d have enjoyed seeing Stefan and Maleficent fall in love–did he ever really love her?–and then I’d like to have been shown the ways temptations of the human world lured him away from his affection for her. I’d have appreciated more of an explanation for his ambition than simply that it was assigned as “human”. I’d have also liked to see Stefan’s wife’s opinion of him, whether they were ‘happy’, or what his life was like before the christening.
If they’d taken the time to do those things, I’d have found the movie pretty much perfect, despite the predictability of the ending. Maybe because of it.