Maleficient

Two Sundays ago I watched Maleficient, the latest Sleeping Beauty version of Disney which is focused on showing the point of view of the Fairy called Maleficient (the wicked witch) rather than the Princess Aurora’s. I must say, this already caught my attention as I have never been able to relate to Aurora.

It is not a movie that changed my life, and there were some errors of continuity that confused my rational brain but it did however have some really interesting points… and Maleficient herself was a rather interesting character.

The movie is a story in a far away land but could easily have been set in a city like New York, or London or anywhere you might have wanted to. An in truth, there is no need for a princess, as the king could have been a broker, a footballer or anything in between. The interesting thing was “Maleficient”… who, like many others in Disney movies acts as carer/ godmother/ step mother.

Ever since i was a little girl I could never understand the evil portraying of the women who accompanied / married widow men in movies and cartoons. They all seemed to have an agenda to manipulate and take advantage of the archetypical innocent men! Somehow, deep down, I could not see how this could even be possible.

My great-grandma had a sister who died at child birth (as it often happened in small villages in the beginning of the twentieth century in Spain). Her, essentially, brother in law, had two children (from two wives… the poor man had widowed twice at child birth) and she decided to marry him to look after the family. Luckily for her, she survived my granma’s birth and lived to look after the three children. For me, she was a hero, not a villain. One I will forever be grateful to, as without her, i would never have been born.

To me, the best part of the movie (apart from the utterly beautiful hats by Justin Smith that Maleficient wears that is) is the fact that the five minute encounter with the prince, as I suspected, did not impress Aurora as much as it has been portrayed for decades… a bit of hope for the Disney princesses of the future then.

In addition to the above, there has also been something else making me uncomfortable in traditionally Disney movies: The lack of acknowledgement to the truth in life that nobody is perfect. The black and white teachings seem to have finally stepped aside to let us see the greys in between. Nobody is perfect… or may i say NOBODY IS PERFECT! A good shift indeed as , lets face it, life is as thought as it is beautiful.

Photography by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate

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