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Transcript of Maleficent
Maleficent is a 2014 American dark fantasy film directed by Robert Stromberg the film is a live-action re-imagining of Walt Disney's 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty, and portrays the story from the perspective of the antagonist, Maleficent.
The Plot of Maleficent
The Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty is a 1959 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney based on The Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault and Little Briar Rose by The Brothers Grimm. The 16th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, it was released to theaters on January 29, 1959, by Buena Vista Distribution.
Maleficent and The Sleeping Beauty
Feminism and Maleficent
Looking at both plots,
The Sleeping Beauty
, and from a feminist point of view it is very clear that the recreation of the original story presents women in a completely different way. The new Maleficent is given the chance to tell her story through the eyes of Aurora.
How we can apply psychoanalysis on Maleficent ?
An elderly narrator tells the story of Maleficent, a powerful fairy living in a magical forest called "The Moors" bordering a human kingdom. As a young girl, she meets and falls in love with a human peasant boy wandering the Moors, named Stefan, whose love for Maleficent is overshadowed by his ambition to become king. As they grow older, Stefan stops seeing Maleficent, leaving her to grow into the role of protector of the Moors.
One day, the human king tries to conquer the Moors, having promised to do so when he came to the throne, but is thwarted by a mature Maleficent, forcing him to retreat. The king, fatally wounded in the battle, declares that whoever slew Maleficent would be named his successor. An older Stefan hears this while attending to the king, then goes to see Maleficent in the Moors, lying that he has come to warn her of the king's plot.
Stefan drugs Maleficent and attempts to kill her, but cannot bring himself to do it, so he instead cuts off her wings with iron, a lethal weapon to fairies, and presents them to the king as proof of her death. Maleficent awakens to find herself wingless, and laments. She eventually rescues a raven named Diaval, whom she gives a human form, to serve as her only friend and confidant, who later reports to her that Stefan has been crowned king. Maleficent, devastated by Stefan's betrayal to seize the throne, declares herself Queen of the Moors, forming a dark oppressive kingdom with Diaval as her one companion.
Sometime later, Diaval informs Maleficent that King Stefan is hosting a christening for his newborn daughter, Aurora. Bent on revenge, Maleficent arrives uninvited and curses the infant princess: on her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel, which will cause her to fall into a deep sleep. After Stefan is forced by Maleficent to beg for his daughter, she offers an antidote: the curse can be broken by true love's kiss.
Paranoid of Maleficent's vengeance against him, Stefan sends Aurora to live with three pixies until the day after her sixteenth birthday, while he destroys and burns all the spinning wheels in the kingdom and hides them in the deepest dungeon in the castle. He sends out his armies to find and kill Maleficent, but she surrounds the Moors with an impenetrable wall of thorns.
Despite her initial dislike for Princess Aurora, Maleficent begins to care for the girl when the careless pixies fail to do so. After a brief meeting with the young Aurora, Maleficent watches over her from afar. While Aurora is 15, she meets Maleficent for the first time and she calls Maleficent her "fairy godmother", as Aurora recalls being watched over by her all of her life. Realizing she has grown fond of the princess, Maleficent attempts to revoke the curse, but she cannot.
Aurora later meets Prince Phillip, and the two are smitten with each other, but have little opportunity to build a relationship. On the day before Aurora's 16th birthday, Maleficent, hoping to avoid the curse, allows the girl to move to the Moors. Unfortunately, the pixies inadvertently tell Aurora of her parentage and of Maleficent's true identity, and a furious Aurora runs away to the castle.
After a brief reunion with Aurora, Stefan locks his daughter away in her room for safety. However, she is suddenly drawn by the curse itself to the dungeon, where it assembles a spinning wheel. Aurora pricks her finger on the spindle and falls into a deep sleep, completing the curse. Intent on saving her, Maleficent abducts Phillip and infiltrates Stefan's castle to have him kiss Aurora and break the curse, but Philip's kiss fails.
Maleficent apologizes to Aurora and swears no harm will come to her, kissing her forehead, breaking the spell, and Aurora awakens; Maleficent's motherly concern for Aurora constitutes true love. Aurora forgives Maleficent and they attempt to flee the castle, but Maleficent is trapped in an iron net and attacked by Stefan and his guards. Maleficent transforms Diaval into a dragon and he lifts the net off her, but is driven back by the soldiers. Stefan beats Maleficent and taunts her, but before he can kill her, her wings, freed from his chamber by Aurora, fly back to her and reattach themselves. With her wings restored, Maleficent overpowers Stefan and carries him onto a tower, but cannot bring herself to kill him, instead declaring their feud over. Stefan attempts once more to kill her, but plummets off the tower to his death.
Soon after, Aurora is crowned queen of the human and fairy realms by Maleficent, forever unifying the two kingdoms, with Phillip at her side. The narrator then reveals her own identity as an older Princess Aurora.
As we said the psychoanalysis school sees the text like a dream everything represents something deeper. Also it can be about "secret life” of the character by applying psychoanalytical theory to explain their motives.
Applying Freud's model of psyche
ID : her id tell her to take revenge , to make the king feel extremely sad, to pay him back his fatal betrayal and to curse the little child.
How we can apply this to the movie (Maleficent)?
First of all, After the harsh betrayal we see her first as an angelic (literally, for she has wings) little girl, sweet and friendly yet protective of her land and its inhabitants. Then, She becomes the villain.
Superego : after she get closer to the princess , her internal censor works out , she feels guilty and sympathetic , she tries her best to stop the curse but she could not.
What makes Maleficent special?
"Sleeping Beauty" is such an iconic fairy tale, well-loved all over the world and the images in the 1959 Disney film are forever etched in the minds of viewers regardless of age.
How does "Maleficent" differ from the original and does the spin-off really give a deeper twist to the original story?
“She’s not what you assume she is,” Angelina Jolie said of the evil fairy she plays in Maleficent,
a 2014 take on the 600-or-so-year-old story of “Sleeping Beauty.” We assume, of course, that she’s senselessly evil, for what else could explain a person — and a woman, no less — effectively sentencing a baby to a teenage death? The new film aims to tell the “truth” about the would-be princess-killer, to explain what precisely could make a character so cruel. This new Maleficent has been betrayed; she’s lost something, she’s done battle. But perhaps the explanation for Maleficent’s cruelty has been in the centuries of patriarchal history all along.
In Disney’s 1959 version and its source material, Maleficent curses a baby princess to seek revenge for a real or perceived insult. Despite being harsh, this villain is, remarkably, the only female character who is consistently pursuing her own agenda in every version of these stories.
Maleficent's Flying Abilities
While Maleficent appears to apparate into several scenes, there does not seem to be any real flying involved. This makes sense though as she lost her wings as explained in "Maleficent."
The Birth of Princess Aurora.
As the title suggests, the birth of Princess Aurora, or Sleeping Beauty is the center of the storyline. The royal birth sets off the story and the christening sets up the conflict as the antagonist first makes an appearance and lays down the cures. The premise: Maleficent wasn't invited.
King Stephan's rise to the throne
None of this was shown as the movie starts with him already sitting on the throne with his beautiful Queen and baby daughter.
The birth of King Stefan's baby comes around, sure but not before the real story behind Maleficent's wrath comes out based on her history with the King.
The extent of the characters abilities were featured in the film including her majestic wings and flying abilities
It turns out, King Stefan was not really born with blue blood. He was in fact a peasant boy who romanced Maleficent then subsequently drugged her and hacked off her wings. Yes. She has a reason beyond not being invited to the christening after all.
Aurora's Character Development
Not much is really interesting about Aurora apart from being a princess who likes playing with the forest creatures. Beyond that, She was well, a snooze fest.
Aurora's time in the woods
In the fairytale, the godmothers were successful in hiding Aurora for 16 years as she was raised peacefully and happily in the woods.
The curse is reversed or at least was altered by Merryweather to make Aurora fall into a deep sleep instead of dying.
A more down-to-earth princess is portrayed with Elle Fanning getting down and dirty during her time in the woods She also shows more emotional involvement and in what's going on unlike Aurora in the 1959 film who didn't seem to mind the complexities of the situations surrounding her.
The villain is a constant presence and knows exactly where Aurora is the whole time during her exile and is an essential part to her survival.
The villain tries to remove the curse off Aurora.
Well, he falls in love with the princess whom he has never actually met and viewers are led to believe that this is true love. His kiss wakes her up and saves the day.
Maleficent turns into a dragon which the hero, Prince Philip kills as he is rescuing Aurora.
With Maleficent being the dragon and as all fairy tales must end, the evil antagonist is killed in the end and they all live happily ever after.
This movie isn't entitled "Maleficent" for nothing. The tearful godmother gives Aurora a kiss on the forehead to save the day with her real affection for the princess.
Well, the dragon here isn't Maleficent and it was meant against King Stefan's army. Meanwhile, Prince Philip has become irrelevant.
King Stefan and Malficent's true natures are revealed and it turns out that the real villain is King Stephan.
Moreover the actual villain in the new plot is not Maleficent, it is King Stephen whom Malifecent was once fond of and so was he.
The hero in the new plot is not the cliché "happy ending" prince charming, she is a motherly figure whom we hear Aurora call as her "Fairy Godmother" throughout the whole movie. The new "true love's" kiss perception disregards the manly figure and empowers woman of the 21st century which will have an empowering effect on the younger generations.
Whereas the only kind of empowering role in The Sleeping Beauty regarding women is given for the three little fairies, yet in a clumsy way that depends on magic mainly. Not to forget the fact that they could not help Prince Philip without their magical wands and powers. Nevertheless, the hero at the end is of course the male figure.
The whole idea of equality in general and gender equality in specific in original movie is misrepresented. At the very end of The Sleeping Beauty when Philip tells his father that he is in love (an unreal overwhelming expression) with a peasant girl, the king loses his mind.
Another important part is how Maleficent is portrayed as the protector of her land even after what Stephan did to her in the new movie. Whereas in the original one she maltreats her "soldiers" and the creatures in her dark castle are not even smart. Usually the one who protects or saves is always a male figure. Disney did not believe in women back then and neither did the world.
As for Diaval in Maleficent he is basically a servant, unlike the usual roles of servants that Disney constantly portrayed as women.
And the beautiful Aurora ends up as a savior as well in the new movie. She is the actual hero because she is the one who frees Maleficent's wings. Whereas in the original movie she is only a beautiful, peaceful and naive princess who falls in love immediately with Philip.