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Maleficent (2014)

Maleficent (2014)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Family
Release: 30 May 2014 (USA)
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley

Maleficent, a powerful fairy, lives in the Moors, a magical forest realm bordering a corrupt human kingdom. As a young girl, she meets and falls in love with a human peasant boy named Stefan, whose affection for Maleficent is overshadowed by his ambition to better his station. As they grow older, the two grow apart, and she becomes protector of the Moors. When King Henry tries to conquer the Moors, a grown Maleficent forces him to retreat. Fatally wounded in battle, he declares that whoever kills Maleficent will be named his successor and marry his daughter Leila. In response, the grown Stefan visits Maleficent in the Moors, where he drugs her but cannot bring himself to kill her. Instead, Stefan uses iron, which burns fairies, to cut off Maleficent's wings. He then presents them to the king as evidence of her death. Maleficent awakens to find herself wingless. Anguished by Stefan's betrayal, she declares herself Queen of the Moors, forming a dark kingdom with Diaval, a raven to whom she gives human form. He acts as her wings, spy, and confidant.

Sometime later, Diaval informs Maleficent that Stefan, who is now king, is hosting a christening for his newborn daughter, Aurora. Bent on revenge, Maleficent arrives uninvited and curses the infant princess: on her 16th birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel, putting her into a deep sleep from which she will never awaken. When Stefan begs for mercy, Maleficent offers an antidote: The curse can be broken by true love's kiss. Stefan sends Aurora to live with a trio of pixies until the day after her 16th birthday, while he destroys all the spinning wheels in the kingdom and hides them in the castle dungeon. He sends his armies to find and kill Maleficent, but she surrounds the Moors with an impenetrable wall of thorns.

Despite her initial dislike for Aurora, Maleficent begins to care for the girl when the incompetent pixies inadvertently put her in danger. After a brief meeting with the young Aurora, Maleficent watches over her from afar. When Aurora is 15, she encounters Maleficent and, aware of being watched over, calls her her "fairy godmother". Realizing she has grown fond of the princess, Maleficent attempts to revoke the curse, but she cannot. Aurora later meets Prince Philip, and the two are smitten with each other. On the day before Aurora's 16th birthday, Maleficent, hoping to avoid the curse, invites her to move to the Moors. When the pixies inadvertently tell Aurora of her parentage and of Maleficent's true identity, a horrified Aurora runs away to her father's castle.

Meanwhile, King Stefan, mad with paranoia, sits in his castle talking to Maleficent's severed wings, and even refuses to see Queen Leila on her deathbed.

After a brief reunion with Aurora, Stefan locks her away in her room for safety. However, she is drawn by the curse to the dungeon, where a spinning wheel pricks her finger and she falls into a death-like sleep. Intent on saving her, Maleficent abducts Phillip and infiltrates Stefan's castle to have him kiss Aurora and break the curse, but Philip's kiss fails. Maleficent apologizes to Aurora, swears no harm will come to her, kisses her forehead, and breaks the spell, with Maleficent's motherly concern for Aurora constituting true love. Aurora forgives Maleficent and they attempt to leave the castle, but Maleficent is trapped in an iron net and attacked by Stefan and his guards. Maleficent transforms Diaval into a dragon, and he lifts the net off her, but is driven back by the guards. Stefan beats and taunts Maleficent, but before he can kill her, her wings, freed from his chamber by Aurora, fly back to her and reattach themselves. Maleficent overpowers Stefan and carries him onto a tower, but cannot bring herself to kill him. Stefan attempts once more to kill her, but plummets off the tower to his death.

Soon after, Aurora is crowned queen of the human and fairy realms by Maleficent, unifying the two kingdoms, with Phillip at her side. Maleficent returns to her role as protector over the kingdoms.


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