Stunning and sinister, ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ will be no fairy tale

Published: May 16, 2019
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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is set to release on October 18, 2019.

The teaser trailer of the upcoming film, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has been released by Walt Disney Studios, and is a sequel to the 2014 dark fantasy movie, Maleficent.

The prequel, which was a massive hit, retold the classic Sleeping Beauty story from the antagonist’s perspective, where the dark witch’s character was given redeeming qualities as opposed to the original version of the 1959 Disney classic.

Photo: Walt Disney Motion Pictures

Photo: Walt Disney Motion Pictures

In the film, Maleficent curses Aurora to fall into a deep slumber on her 16th birthday, but this is an act of revenge against King Stefan, who had betrayed and assaulted Maleficent in her younger days. However, over the course of the film, Maleficent develops a sense of affection and care for Aurora. She becomes her fairy godmother and fights to save her life. Ultimately, it is Maleficent’s motherly love and kiss, rather than the kiss of a prince, which ends up bringing Aurora back from her perpetual sleep.

The horned fairy joined forces with Princess Aurora to protect the magical realm, while the Moors is restored to its former glory and Aurora is crowned the new queen in the end to unify the two kingdoms.

Photo: Walt Disney Motion Pictures

Photo: Walt Disney Motion Pictures

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is directed by Joachim Rønning and written by Linda Woolverton, with Angelina Jolie reprising her role of the titular villainess and Elle Fanning returning as Aurora. Joining them in the cast are Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith, Harris Dickinson as Prince Phillip, Robert Lindsay as King John, Ed Skrein and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The sequel, as the trailer suggests, is a continuation of the first tale and is set several years later, but it looks like the film is set to take the story in a whole new direction where Maleficent is waging a one-witch war on the kingdom. The trailer displays spectacular visual effects, stunning costumes and sets while something sinister seems to be lingering just beneath the surface. That hint of menace is precisely why this is no fairy tale.

While the trailer is dark, the sorceress Maleficent is darker.

Photo: Giphy

Photo: Walt Disney Motion Pictures

Considered to be one of the most iconic villains in the Disney pantheon, Maleficent has gone back to using her dark powers and black magic and appears to be at odds with Queen Ingrith in the dramatic trailer. Although this explains the reason behind the film’s title, Mistress of Evil, this startling embrace of darkness is conflicting and confounding bearing in mind the interpretation and portrayal of Maleficent’s character in the first film where she turned wicked to avenge the betrayal that she faced.

The trailer has therefore instilled the right amount of curiosity, interest and surprise in the viewers as it is full of suspense, mystery, darkness and thrill.

Photo: Giphy

With the mystifying change in Maleficent’s character, it seems as if the narrative is reversing her entire character arc from the first film, where it was ultimately the villainess who turned out to be the actual saviour. But who knows, perhaps there is a just cause again behind this transformation and resorting to the dark old ways. It’s the filmmakers who eventually know better and time will tell what the fantasy adventure has in store for the eager and excited fans who are anticipating this film’s arrival.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is set to release on October 18, 2019.

Mehrooj Rai

Mehrooj Rai

The author lives in Lahore and is studying English Literature from University of London. Writing is her passion and it gives her an opportunity to not only escape but create her own world of ideals and notions. She tweets @mehrooj_rai (twitter.com/mehrooj_rai)

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