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Review: Maleficent (Hollywood)

March 26, 2017

Maleficent is ‘Sleeping Beauty’ retold in a slightly different way. Maleficent is not a witch but a kind fairy, so that’s the difference.

I could be 50 in less than 2 years now (sad) but I don’t think I will ever grow out of my addiction to fairy tales and Hollywood romances.

‘Maleficent’ was simply magnificent!

Never seen Angelina Jolie doing a compassionate character and as Maleficent, the fairy and the villain rolled into one, she is a curious mix of good and bad. Or may be this is how she was in Salt and other pictures of hers (I have managed to watch. Normally I don’t go for violent films).

Aurora, the cursed princess, melts her heart and brings out the love in her. Maleficent is hit by remorse, a very familiar emotion with most of us who sometimes err and then repent (for a lifetime or otherwise).

No other Hollywood actress could have done justice for Maleficent, Angelina is a natural with her Asian looks especially eyes and cold demeanour. She is cut out for this kind of ruthless subjects.

I am also a huge fan of Brad Pitt. Feel bad for the couple. Both are supreme power centers. Ego clash to be inevitable.

What else to do on a rainy day (surprisingly in Gulf) when the sky is downcast. Book got boring and options were running out… until Maleficent happened! Settled down with a cup of ginger chai… after all, the season is running out… By this time next month summer will be roaring deaf in our ears… upto as far as October!!

The child in us emerges when we read/watch their content … be it comics or animation pictures. I am addicted to children’s movies that I started watching only with my son. Tom & Jerry or Lion King, I saw them all with my little boy as we grew up together. Because we bought our first tv only in 1977 when I was in class 4 and it was b & w and had a single national channel. Cartoons were rare luxuries because Indian government was too poor – not like today. Today India’s poor are poor, but not the nation. India is rich, richer than all European countries put together and all Arab nations put together. I am saying this not comparing our GDPs (but even comparing GDPs) but knowing what really counts and how wealth is calculated.

So as middle class Indians (may be not poor), comic books, tv shows etc were not for us. But things changed with 1990s. Until then books borrowed from lending libraries were our only window to the outside world.

But it was nice watching Lion King and Tom & Jerry and Animal Planet growing up with my son! They were novelty not only for him, but for me too.

Fairy tales are great!

The expression in Maleficent (Angelina)’s face refuses to leave me. It is like, good and bad is in everyone. We all must hope and strive to vanquish the bad in us and project the good. Words are too powerful (as we say in Toastmasters). It is easy to lose words with a quick tongue (my case typically) but words once spoken cannot be taken back. But even if it is a curse, if the intention is not bad and if it is regretted, it can be reversed.

I faced a similar situation in life very recently. Had an argument with my MIL after having her with me for 24 years. She said, years back (when she used to torment me), I had cursed ‘them’ which is the reason for a physically challenged baby being born in the family. Wounded beyond measure (I don’t recall cursing anyone like that and if I had, like Maleficent’s, my curse would have been borne out of anger never by intent or hatred) I told my husband, I could never live with my MIL under one roof ever again. Ugly spats followed. My MIL is 80, so she is naturally absolved of all her sins given her age. I do not yet have that advantage to earn anyone’s sympathy. I changed my travel schedule and flew out of India to put distance between us. But the words left a deep scar and my heart refuses to heal.

Forgiven my MIL but will not forget. I know it is a blatant lie borne of jealousy perhaps but the damage is done. The 3.5 year old baby was fighting for its life even 2 days back and on a ventilator. To blame it on me is such an evil and vengeful thought. Very cruel thing to do.The motive must have been to spoil my peace of mind and sense of freedom and happiness. I understand it all.

I hope if in any anger or frustration I have indeed cursed anyone, my Mother Goddess will forgive me. She knows my heart.

As an ardent Shakthi worshiper for years now I am trying not to speak or even speculate aloud bad thoughts. Reciting ‘Lalitha Sahasranama’ for 25 years. The one who introduced me to the mantra said, since I had it by heart, the more I recited it, the more intolerant I would become of injustice so I should try to control my tongue. Whatever I say could come true. ‘Even in your dreams do not think worse for anyone’ I was warned, ‘you can’t, you won’t.’ In joint families in India, frequent arguments between close knit relatives are not uncommon. I have been mostly at the receiving end, the victim, never the tormentor. Even in the last spat, my MIL won her son’s sympathy not me. When old people say something, everyone tends to believe them, not us. The elderly look weaker and it is impossible to say they are lying.

Maleficent was a good fairy and finally she prevails and her good intention prevails. I hope fervently this is my case if indeed I had consciously or subconsciously willed worse for anyone.

Even for a curse to prove true, the one who curses must be worthy of it. His/her words must be honest and sincere, he/she must have a justified reason, must have been a victim. Otherwise curses will fall flat on their face. I hope my MIL sees this. Only the wronged people curse, not those who deliberately hurt.

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