I went to see the movie Maleficent last weekend.
**Spoiler Alert** If you haven’t seen the movie, you might want to stop reading.
I would say there are two evil “witches” from literature that really freaked me out as a child. One was the witch from Rapunzel. What bothered me the most about her was that she not only tricked the Rapunzel’s prince, but then she poked out his eyes. It was so cruel and vicious that the picture remained in my mind even until this day. Much like Hollywood tends to do, they made her not quite so evil in Disney’s version, Tangled. At best, the witch in this movie adaptation was a little over-controlling, and vain, but not really evil.
|Taken from the official website|
The second one was Maleficent. I think it was a Disney cartoon version of the story, but I remember there being a song that crept me out. But the whole dressed in black, green smoke, pure evil part of her character made me cringe. All the other witches in fairy tales were either justifiably evil or just a “bad” person. Maleficent attacks Sleeping Beauty for no other reason than she is just pure evil. Her look, her actions, everything bordered creepy and just plain scary to my young mind.
So, when I saw there was a movie adaptation coming out, I was so excited to be freaked out ounce again. I had high hopes after seeing the Snow White adaptation a few years ago, Snow White and the Huntsman. I think my problem with Maleficent is that they took the evilest character and tried to justify her. Not only did they try to justify her, they had her come full circle. There were two modern themes present in this film: 1. People are not born evil they are made but can be redeemed and 2. “Fairy Tale” love at first site doesn’t conquer all, but rather a love much deeper than romance.
I actually like these concepts. In Disney’s movie, Frozen, they teach that the first guy who seems like “the one” is not and that the second guy we might not be attracted to at first really is the right one. I love that concept because it is more real. My problem with the movie is simply that they took an already existing character and basically made her good. She strayed for a moment, but she learned the lesson of her ways and came back to being good.
It was too easily tied together for me. Let’s say she did have a moment of evil and learned the error of her ways. She should still be a changed person in the end. She did a horrible thing. She should be somewhat scarred. But, ultimately, I think our politically correct society has lost something by justifying her. Sometimes there are no answers in life. Sometimes people are just plain evil. In the original version, the good fairy helps provide an escape from the curse, so good can always trump evil. That’s still worth writing about.