Escape to the Movies: Maleficent - An Unusual Fairy Tale of Revenge

Jofe

New member
Feb 3, 2010
24
0
0
Therumancer said:
I see your point, but something that I don't see too necessary is the redemption. Why couldn't she go full evil after what happened. I see the whole thing starting for justice and retribution but she loses the way and becomes something even worse than she was fighting at the start. Her motivation is just being purely evil, maybe she enjoys, maybe she doesn't see any other road for her anymore. (Think of it like the way Yathzee resumes Kefka, something along "Here's and evil guy who's trying to destroy the world because he's a dick" if you watch Zero Punctuation) She not only could have gone too far, she did and that leads to the rest of the events that we know.

Maybe I'll go to see it this week and see if I can figure the idea they were aiming for.
 

Uriel_Hayabusa

New member
Apr 7, 2014
418
0
0
AgDr_ODST said:
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
AgDr_ODST said:
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
Bob's review convinced me to check it out just for the hell of it. This movie sounds like such a crazy idea that I can't help but want to see it with my own eyes.

Oh, and I don't think Jafar would be the ideal candidate for a revisionist retelling; I think it could work for Scar or the villain from Frozen, though. Maybe Gaston as well.
I'm torn regarding the idea of Jafar getting his story rewritten.[footnote] Saw a great idea but I hate the ideas of either Aladdin being the villain or Jasmine falling for Jafar.[/footnote] I do think a Gaston rewrite could be excellent if it turned out that among other things, Beauty gets Stockholm Syndrome during her time with Beast who really is just a dangerous animal, and the 'castle' could either be an abandoned one that the beast moved into or a cave filled with some familiar junk that Beauty decides can talk so that the grim, depressing nature of her situation doesn't drive her insane. Gaston could be someone who has loved her since they were kids, but because of his slight social ineptness he picks on her and comes across as bully because he can't bring himself to admit his feelings.
I actually would enjoy portraying Beast as really just that, seeing as I'm not a fan of the "socially maladjusted guy who actually has a "heart of gold" archetype (it reeks of an idealization of loners) but if it were up to me I wouldn't have a good guy Gaston "picking on" Beauty, but rather hide his sensitive side with superficial machismo in an attempt to impress only to come around to that.
So Gaston in your estimation would be more or less the same as he is in the Disney movie, only its a front? I think that would work, would you retool anything else about the story to fit the reimagining? I was thinking either ramp up the villainy of the witch or make her into the victim of an attack by the beast that prompts Beauty to wander into the woods.
Yeah, it would pretty much be a front. As for what other aspects I'd retool, well that would probably be necessary; but I must admit I hadn't thought that far ahead, haha.
 

leviadragon99

New member
Jun 17, 2010
1,055
0
0
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
leviadragon99 said:
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
I don't think Jafar would be the ideal candidate for a revisionist retelling; I think it could work for Scar or the villain from Frozen, though. Maybe Gaston as well.
[...] Gaston would be a little redundant as he's already a subversion of a heroic archetype to show the uncomfortably regressive and possessive machismo that can come with it

...

Likewise, Frozen was also a revisionist retelling[...]

...

That's the point of these revisionist reversals, to tell new stories because the old ones are getting rather worn out, and indeed, have some unfortunate or downright unpleasant undertones.
I don't see how you can't have subversions of subversions. In fact, I think a skilled enough writer can craft a story that hearkens back to "classics" while ironing out the unfortunate implications instead of going full-on "The nice guy is actually a douchebag"/"The love interest dies"/*insert "darker"/"more subversive" twist here*

Well of course, you can make a good story out of anything if you've got a good enough writer/team on board, but my question is... why? What about those stories would demand they be told? What makes them fresh enough in the concept alone to bother applying that kind of effort?

So a little thought experiment then, what story would you tell about beauty and the beast or the snow queen? Just the broad strokes of it, what kind of take would you like to see that would put a new spin on them?
 

Iceklimber

New member
Feb 5, 2013
52
0
0
(minor spoiler)

Sorry late for the train but saw the movie just now and can anyone explain the supposed raep subtext?

If I recall correctly, they shared a "true Lover's Kiss" in the Night when they turned sixteen which in my opinion was a mathaphor for consensual sex so I don't see this guy raeping a woman who is already in love with, and already shared sexy times with him. Another notion is that she gets her Wings back later on, does this means she gets Un-raepd or what?

Totally agree that all the Wings-related Scenes were metaphors for something, but not sure for what. Captain, explain.
 

Uriel_Hayabusa

New member
Apr 7, 2014
418
0
0
leviadragon99 said:
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
leviadragon99 said:
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
I don't think Jafar would be the ideal candidate for a revisionist retelling; I think it could work for Scar or the villain from Frozen, though. Maybe Gaston as well.
[...] Gaston would be a little redundant as he's already a subversion of a heroic archetype to show the uncomfortably regressive and possessive machismo that can come with it

...

Likewise, Frozen was also a revisionist retelling[...]

...

That's the point of these revisionist reversals, to tell new stories because the old ones are getting rather worn out, and indeed, have some unfortunate or downright unpleasant undertones.
I don't see how you can't have subversions of subversions. In fact, I think a skilled enough writer can craft a story that hearkens back to "classics" while ironing out the unfortunate implications instead of going full-on "The nice guy is actually a douchebag"/"The love interest dies"/*insert "darker"/"more subversive" twist here*

Well of course, you can make a good story out of anything if you've got a good enough writer/team on board, but my question is... why? What about those stories would demand they be told? What makes them fresh enough in the concept alone to bother applying that kind of effort?

So a little thought experiment then, what story would you tell about beauty and the beast or the snow queen? Just the broad strokes of it, what kind of take would you like to see that would put a new spin on them?
Regarding Gaston, I think a compelling take on the character would be that he used to to a sensitive kid who puts on an attitude of callous machismo as an adult because he came to learn that it's "inappropriate" or "unmanly" for a guy to be be sensitive and/or show vulnerability etc. only for him to learn over the course of the story that such an attitude can be damaging to both him and the relationships he tries to forge. The Beast could exist as what you'd get if the whole "Men should be strong and never show weakness!" attitude were taken to its ultimate extreme.

Just a thought...
 

leviadragon99

New member
Jun 17, 2010
1,055
0
0
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
leviadragon99 said:
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
leviadragon99 said:
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
I don't think Jafar would be the ideal candidate for a revisionist retelling; I think it could work for Scar or the villain from Frozen, though. Maybe Gaston as well.
[...] Gaston would be a little redundant as he's already a subversion of a heroic archetype to show the uncomfortably regressive and possessive machismo that can come with it

...

Likewise, Frozen was also a revisionist retelling[...]

...

That's the point of these revisionist reversals, to tell new stories because the old ones are getting rather worn out, and indeed, have some unfortunate or downright unpleasant undertones.
I don't see how you can't have subversions of subversions. In fact, I think a skilled enough writer can craft a story that hearkens back to "classics" while ironing out the unfortunate implications instead of going full-on "The nice guy is actually a douchebag"/"The love interest dies"/*insert "darker"/"more subversive" twist here*

Well of course, you can make a good story out of anything if you've got a good enough writer/team on board, but my question is... why? What about those stories would demand they be told? What makes them fresh enough in the concept alone to bother applying that kind of effort?

So a little thought experiment then, what story would you tell about beauty and the beast or the snow queen? Just the broad strokes of it, what kind of take would you like to see that would put a new spin on them?
Regarding Gaston, I think a compelling take on the character would be that he used to to a sensitive kid who puts on an attitude of callous machismo as an adult because he came to learn that it's "inappropriate" or "unmanly" for a guy to be be sensitive and/or show vulnerability etc. only for him to learn over the course of the story that such an attitude can be damaging to both him and the relationships he tries to forge. The Beast could exist as what you'd get if the whole "Men should be strong and never show weakness!" attitude were taken to its ultimate extreme.

Just a thought...
Huh... credit where it's due, that could work.

Although execution of that would be quite tricky...
 

maximara

New member
Jul 13, 2008
237
0
0
WhiteFangofWar said:
Huh. I thought you'd hate this because as you said, Maleficent is the first and only Disney villain to be played completely straight without any redeeming factor or quirkiness to her. To try and create a framework capable of painting the 'mistress of all evil' as good sounds awkward as all hell.

As for Jafar, it's already halfway done. The Sultan is an incompetent buffoon without a clue how to run a kingdom who inherited it by birthright. I've already read a fairly good fic where Jafar starts out taken on as a palace guard in his youth and murders and backstabs his way up to the top because he feels he would run the kingdom better.
If you want a trip into the dark and frightening inversion Neil Gaiman's "Snow, Glass, Apples? has Snow White as some form of vampire. There is also hints of that old king is tied to the land motif going on. So the supposedly happy ending is in fact beginning of the kingdom's life blood being figuratively and literally drained dry.

Red as Blood by Tanith Lee not only does the vampire thing but throws Satanism on top of it as well.

Another inversion of the Snow White tale is in DC comics' Fables where the dwarves used Snow White as their sex slave until she escaped. She starts takes fencing lessons from Prince Charming and after a while the dwarven bodies start showing up...with sword wounds.

People are well aware of the adage 'winners write the history books' and it is fun to see how you can invert some of the classics.
 

maximara

New member
Jul 13, 2008
237
0
0
Jofe said:
Therumancer said:
I see your point, but something that I don't see too necessary is the redemption. Why couldn't she go full evil after what happened. I see the whole thing starting for justice and retribution but she loses the way and becomes something even worse than she was fighting at the start. Her motivation is just being purely evil, maybe she enjoys, maybe she doesn't see any other road for her anymore. (Think of it like the way Yathzee resumes Kefka, something along "Here's and evil guy who's trying to destroy the world because he's a dick" if you watch Zero Punctuation) She not only could have gone too far, she did and that leads to the rest of the events that we know.

Maybe I'll go to see it this week and see if I can figure the idea they were aiming for.
You could view Maleficent's change of heart as Lima syndrome. For those who don't know Lima syndrome is the converse of Stockholm syndrome. It certainly fits.
 

shiajun

New member
Jun 12, 2008
578
0
0
After reading the comments here I think I'm an odd one. I think looking into the wings cutting scene as a metaphor to rape is because right now people see rape analogies everywhere. I find it kind of disturbing to view a woman's body as an extension of her genitalia and any harm done to any part of it as an agression to her vagina. When Maleficent wakes up she's been freaking mutilated by a person she loved. The gender of the characters involved seems secondary as she has had two of her limbs amputated . If I woke up with both my legs missing you bet your ass I'd scream and come undone just as Jolie plays the scene. Why is it that for male characters they can be mutilated/humilliated/abused/raped/etc and they're all different types of violence, but when it comes to women all those collapse into analogies for rape? I see her whole revenge for betrayal and robbing her of her freedom and part of her power. If I go with the rape analogy, then she was robbed of her power by violating her sexuality, and we're back to "woman's worth is her virginity" thing.
 

Terminal Blue

Elite Member
Legacy
Feb 18, 2010
3,471
1,106
118
Country
United Kingdom
Machine Man 1992 said:
That's all well and good, but I think my... issue... with Maleficent (and this is just from the previews, trailers and what everyone said) is that they're inventing a backstory and motive whole cloth.
Wasn't any work of fiction made up whole cloth by someone?

I mean, you say Satan had a backstory, but he really didn't. Even his name just means "opponent" or "adversary", but opponent of what? In the oldest accounts, he and God seem to have been pretty much on the same wavelength. Heck, there's that weird bit in the book of Job where God is chilling out and Satan walks in and starts chatting to him, which ends in them basically making a bet about ruining this dude's life for the lulz, you would never see something like that in even the most melodramatic medieval passion play.

This whole "satan as the adversary of God" thing is something which has built up over centuries of what are basically rewrites on rewrites on rewrites as different people add their own spin to a figure who is now completely divorced from whatever original role or purpose they once had. Romantic Satanism is just another phase of that.

And I would say Malificent is a character in sleeping beauty, just a pretty broad strokes one. But she has dialogue. She participates in the story (in fact, she sets the entire plot into motion). She has far more going for her than Satan has had for much of Christian history, because as mentioned medieval Christians didn't really focus on Satan that much. It's only with the big panics over things like heresy and witchcraft that people start really thinking about Satan as any kind of entity with actual motives or influence.
 

Machine Man 1992

New member
Jul 4, 2011
785
0
0
evilthecat said:
Machine Man 1992 said:
That's all well and good, but I think my... issue... with Maleficent (and this is just from the previews, trailers and what everyone said) is that they're inventing a backstory and motive whole cloth.
Wasn't any work of fiction made up whole cloth by someone?

I mean, you say Satan had a backstory, but he really didn't. Even his name just means "opponent" or "adversary", but opponent of what? In the oldest accounts, he and God seem to have been pretty much on the same wavelength. Heck, there's that weird bit in the book of Job where God is chilling out and Satan walks in and starts chatting to him, which ends in them basically making a bet about ruining this dude's life for the lulz, you would never see something like that in even the most melodramatic medieval passion play.

This whole "satan as the adversary of God" thing is something which has built up over centuries of what are basically rewrites on rewrites on rewrites as different people add their own spin to a figure who is now completely divorced from whatever original role or purpose they once had. Romantic Satanism is just another phase of that.

And I would say Malificent is a character in sleeping beauty, just a pretty broad strokes one. But she has dialogue. She participates in the story (in fact, she sets the entire plot into motion). She has far more going for her than Satan has had for much of Christian history, because as mentioned medieval Christians didn't really focus on Satan that much. It's only with the big panics over things like heresy and witchcraft that people start really thinking about Satan as any kind of entity with actual motives or influence.
You don't think I know that? There's a difference between, "creating a backstory using hints gleaned from the original work," and, "creating an entire cosmology and backstory for both Maleficent and the King because then otherwise we have no movie."

Why can't Maleficent just be evil? That would have been amazing, we could have had fantasy gender swapped There Will Be Blood up in this *****.
 

AgDr_ODST

Cortana's guardian
Oct 22, 2009
9,317
0
0
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
AgDr_ODST said:
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
AgDr_ODST said:
Uriel_Hayabusa said:
Bob's review convinced me to check it out just for the hell of it. This movie sounds like such a crazy idea that I can't help but want to see it with my own eyes.

Oh, and I don't think Jafar would be the ideal candidate for a revisionist retelling; I think it could work for Scar or the villain from Frozen, though. Maybe Gaston as well.
I'm torn regarding the idea of Jafar getting his story rewritten.[footnote] Saw a great idea but I hate the ideas of either Aladdin being the villain or Jasmine falling for Jafar.[/footnote] I do think a Gaston rewrite could be excellent if it turned out that among other things, Beauty gets Stockholm Syndrome during her time with Beast who really is just a dangerous animal, and the 'castle' could either be an abandoned one that the beast moved into or a cave filled with some familiar junk that Beauty decides can talk so that the grim, depressing nature of her situation doesn't drive her insane. Gaston could be someone who has loved her since they were kids, but because of his slight social ineptness he picks on her and comes across as bully because he can't bring himself to admit his feelings.
I actually would enjoy portraying Beast as really just that, seeing as I'm not a fan of the "socially maladjusted guy who actually has a "heart of gold" archetype (it reeks of an idealization of loners) but if it were up to me I wouldn't have a good guy Gaston "picking on" Beauty, but rather hide his sensitive side with superficial machismo in an attempt to impress only to come around to that.
So Gaston in your estimation would be more or less the same as he is in the Disney movie, only its a front? I think that would work, would you retool anything else about the story to fit the reimagining? I was thinking either ramp up the villainy of the witch or make her into the victim of an attack by the beast that prompts Beauty to wander into the woods.
Yeah, it would pretty much be a front. As for what other aspects I'd retool, well that would probably be necessary; but I must admit I hadn't thought that far ahead, haha.
Well this i kind of dissapointing. I was hoping to continue the discussion about re-imagining the story. So if you've got no more ideas for Beauty&The Beast...how would you retool Frozen's villain and which one, I've heard it said that the Prince is the villain while others say that it's Elsa even though nothing she does is intentionally or explicitly evil.
 

NoeL

New member
May 14, 2011
841
0
0
Saw this movie a few days ago and thought it sucked. Poorly written and poorly presented. It COULD have been good, but it wasn't. The problems:

1) Maleficent's motivations weren't developed clearly enough. The writers needed to come up with a compelling reason as to why she'd make such a seemingly arbitrary curse as "She'll prick her finger and fall asleep before she's 16, and only true love will wake her! Mwa ha ha!", and while I don't think they necessarily failed there they totally failed to sell it to the audience. Even if the reasons are dumb (and they are here) a competent director/screenwriter could present them in such a way that the audience suspends disbelief and doesn't question the dumbness, but that wasn't the case here. I get that the opening narration was going for a fairy tale style where massive pills like "He told her it was true love's kiss, but it wasn't." can be shoved down our throats without much question (just like how no one questioned why Maleficent was evil in Sleeping Beauty - she just was) but when those pills are integral to the plot that stylistic choice doesn't really work. So when she finally comes round to hamming it up with the big curse it feels totally off. Taking control of her "kingdom" also made no sense. If it was a "Well, if he wants a kingdom so bad then I want one too!" it wasn't established at all.

2) The king and queen are fucking IDIOTS. Stefan drugs and mutilates arguably the most important person in a realm he's been at war with for years, watches her become a tyrant and turn the land into a fortress, and when three of her subjects come to the castle to supposedly wish his child well for the future he barely - if at all - questions their loyalty/motivations, lets them cast spells on the kid, and then entrusts them with her care! That's like cutting off Saddam's balls, and when three Iraqis come knocking at your door you greet them with milk, cookies and your first born son.

3) The second act interrupts the narrative, makes no sense, and drags on. This is where the movie takes a break from Maleficent's revenge and focuses on her realising her mistakes, and it's pretty much faffing about for half an hour with no direction at all. It's just bad writing again - they wanted to be like Frozen and subvert the "true love" trope, they wanted to make Maleficent more sympathetic by having her find love, but they didn't really know how to do it. There's no reason why she would curse the child only to immediately become her silent guardian. There needed to at least be a scene where she's happy with her revenge, and then make that change once she realises she's hurt/hurting an innocent child in the process. It's like they attempted to write something like this in by having the good fairies being incompetent custodians (particularly the cliff scene) but Maleficent never has that realisation. It's not like "Haha, those idiots are going to kill that baby for me! ... oh shit, they're actually going to kill that baby. D:" it's just "Oh deary me, look at those incompetent fools. *sigh* I guess I'll just have to step in then, by golly! Ho ho ho!" If her only plan was to get revenge then why would she bother looking after the child? Just to make the revenge all the sweeter by marinating it for 16 years?

4) Maleficent's powers are wildly inconsistent (or she's unbelievably stupid). She can create a wall of thorns surrounding her kingdom, can turn a crow into a man and back again effortlessly, but she can't magic herself a new set of wings? She has seemingly limitless power but never even attempts to reclaim her wings (maybe she thought they were lost forever but she didn't seem surprised when they magically reattached, so...)? Though iron burns her skin it doesn't seem to limit her powers, so why couldn't she turn the soldiers into mice or something? With the amount of power she was shown to possess I never felt for a second that she was ever in any danger, which made all the action scenes in act 3 boring.

5) By far the biggest insult in this movie: we're introduced to the Moors as a communistic utopia. There's no king, there's no classes, everyone is equal and order is maintained through cooperation and respect. Maleficent upsets this balance by instating herself as leader - a move that clearly upsets the rest of the population there, though they're too scared to rebel against her. You would think that after her redemption where she pulls down the thorns and steps down from her throne that the tyranny would be over and the Moors would return to their communistic paradise, right? Fucking NOPE! Aurora is your NEW Queen, you filthy peasants!



Oh, and the CGI sucked ass too.
 

VoidWanderer

New member
Sep 17, 2011
1,551
0
0
Ickabod said:
The thing that gets me about this movie is, Who is it's audience?

It's not for kids or families
It's not for teenagers
It's not for males craving CGI transformers type of action
I doubt it's going to appeal towards women (not being one I couldn't say for sure, but wife has no interest).
It's not an art house type of movie

So I'm really asking, who is this movie made for?
Feminazis...

It felt like a feminazi propaganda film, than a re-interpretation of a timeless villain.