She’s b-a-a-a-ck! After a nearly 3 year acting hiatus, Hollywood’s Queen Bee, Angelina Jolie is back in fighting form in Disney’s “Maleficent.” An imaginative re-telling of the classic “Sleeping Beauty,” screenwriters Linda Woolverton and Charles Perrault flesh out one of the most terrifying villains in fairytale land, proving there’s more than one side to every story. The Urban Daily lists three reasons why “Maleficent” is a surprisingly feminist manifesto and should be on your “must-see” list this weekend:
1. Your feminism is not my feminism and that’s OK. One of the most moving scenes of “Maleficent” is when Aurora comes face to face with her “nemesis.” Sure that the young princess will be scared off by her appearance, Maleficent steps out of the shadows and in wonderment, Aurora reaches out to touch Maleficent’s fearsome horns. In that moment two women from two very different worlds enter a space where they see and accept each other for exactly who they are. Aurora’s girly-girl sweetness and Maleficent’s powerful warrior queen personas, rather than create conflict, end up complementing each other. Feminism isn’t about strong-arming other women to adopt your views, but understanding what makes us different strengthens the feminist community.
2. Women can have a “happily ever after” without Prince Charming. From the time we are little girls, we are enraptured with the idea of the “knight in shining armor” – that one man who will sweep us off our feet and take us to the land of milk and honey. It’s gotten to the point that we don’t feel validated as women unless we have a man and a ring to prove our worth to the world. “Maleficent” bucks the archaic Prince Charming trope, and reminds us that by empowering ourselves, only we can change our lives for the better.
3. Women will always need each other. What sets “Maleficent” apart from other Hollywood fairytale movies is the relationship between the title character and her “nemesis” Princess Aurora. Female villains are usually portrayed as older, spiteful harpies obsessed with gaining back their youth and beauty (please refer to the dreadful “Snow White and the Huntsman”). Maleficent’s anger isn’t borne out of jealousy, but rather anger at Aurora’s father, who betrays Maleficent by violating her in the cruelest way imaginable. What “Maleficent” does quite beautifully is show how even the deepest hurts can be healed when we open ourselves to the friendships with the women in our lives. The world can be a cruel place, but we can’t get through it without our girls.