MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL – an Alternative Lens review

“Maleficent” still stands out as something of a black sheep within Disney’s recent live-action catalogue. Instead of a simple remake or sequel, the film instead presents a revisionist retelling of Sleeping Beauty from its villain’s point of view whilst also turning the narrative into an allegory for sexual assault and abusive relationships.

The final result was admittedly ambitious but sloppy and ill-conceived (you can read my recent reappraisal of its botched metaphors here), but it did well financially so a sequel was always on the cards. After covering the entirety of the original tale, where exactly Mistress of Evil has to go from there seems a bit nebulous on first thought but, and this is an especially relieving shock to me, the final results are far beyond what anyone would reasonably expect. Continue reading MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL – an Alternative Lens review

Maleficent: A Lesson in the Pitfalls of Crafting Feminist Cinema

Maleficent” stands as a bit of an outsider in Disney’s recent glut of animated classics repurposed as live-action nostalgia fuel. Neither a straight-up remake of “Sleeping Beauty” nor a postmodern commentary on its animated counterpart, it’s instead essentially just “Wicked” with the fairy tale mythos swapped out. Upon its release in 2014, it ended up as one of the highest-grossing films of the year and now has a sequel “Mistress of Evil” coming this October. The critical reception, however, was far more divisive, particularly for one crucial scene. Continue reading Maleficent: A Lesson in the Pitfalls of Crafting Feminist Cinema