Maleficient: Mistress of Evil is back and this time embroiled in a major battle of the wills with her nemesis Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) in an effort to keep control of the Moors and loyalty from Aurora.
The years have been kind to Maleficent and Aurora. “Maleficent started out very girlish, very soft and very trusting,” explains Angelina Jolie. In this chapter of the story, Aurora and Maleficent spend a fair amount of time apart, “It’s almost like the original story, where we go back to our own corners,” says Jolie. “We go back to she’s the beautiful, good princess and I’m the outcast that is evil and hunted.”
After Aurora (Elle Fanning) and Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) announce their impending nuptials, Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) invites Maleficent to an intimate dinner at the castle. We soon discover, Queen Ingrith has orchestrated this dinner to cast the Maleficient in a negative light driving Aurora into the arms of her new mother‐in‐law. “It’s always fun playing a villain…my favorite villains always have a humanity about them so that you kind of feel sorry for them while hating them at the same time,” Pfeiffer says. “The challenge is finding the humanity in a character like Queen Ingrith.”
Screenwriter Linda Woolverton and Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick have Disney in their veins. Woolverton is well versed in the world of Disney, having written “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King” and “Alice in Wonderland.” It was Woolverton who created the backstory of the horned fairy which sprung from the characters in the 1959 animated film “Sleeping Beauty.”
Ellen Mirojnick totally tops herself creating three distinct looks for each of these beautiful, powerful and independent women at the heart of the story. Mirojnick explains. “…She (Jolie) is the black and white movie star of the fairytale world…her skin is very white, lips are red and body is totally silhouetted in a very strong shape with accessories which start off as organic and evolve to include bone and gold – eventually laden with black diamonds and emeralds.” She continues, “In this film she has wings the entire time, so her costumes are made from fabrics that were fluid and fluttered beautifully in the wind.” Mirojnick’s costumes perfectly define all three women and are absolutely as breathtaking as are her creations for The Greatest Showman and Behind the Candelabra (for which she won an Emmy in 2013).
Having not seen the original incarnation, I was thoroughly enchanted. After all, it’s not where you think you come from that matters…it’s who you love. A mother’s love, whether biological or not is unwavering and unmatched. Pfeiffer loved her kingdom more than her family and Joile loved her chosen family more than her own kind. Fairytales do come true and our Sleeping Beauty sequel is beautifully and tastefully excited with humor, strong performances and exquisite direction by Joachin Ronning.
Produced by Disney, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil hits just in time for Halloween season on October 18th