I found Maleficent fascinating, riveting and beautiful. Even, surprising.
All I knew was that the proud, elegant and evil witch, a villain in Sleeping Beauty was once a pure, good-hearted fairy. The trailers played scenes from the infamous christening over and over again – Angelina Jolie and that evil charm. It was hard to believe that Maleficent was ever once good.
There are spoilers below, so watch the trailer instead if you haven’t seen the movie. :)
As the story started, Maleficent was indeed good – a strong-willed, protective, responsible leader with a big-sisterlike heart to her world of tree spirits, fairies and strange bumbling river creatures. She was also courageously trusting, but in her vulnerability was betrayed by the one whom she trusted the most.
She sunk into deep despair, which turned into a rage that engulfed her heart, yes even her soul.
The scene that jolted my heart was the one where Maleficent appears to Princess Aurora officially for the first time. She expected Aurora to coil back in fear, but instead, with a bright smile, Aurora said, “I know who you are, you’re my fairy godmother!” A jarring response to someone who desires and expects fear in another, finding instead, joy and affection. It was beautiful.
As I watched this as a parable, I became captivated by once again of how love can transform what is bad. This reminds so much of a teaching by Monty Williams on the Ignation tradition: love sits with us in our traps and transforms it into something good, setting us free to become what we were meant to be. As I saw how Maleficient sat and walked with this embodiment of love itself, I saw how she changed, and finally – conversion. Conversion to hunger for righteousness and justice within herself (referring to the beatitudes). And I saw Maleficent being set free from her deathly and destructive trap of revenge.
I found this perspective deeply refreshing and real. As the narrator points out, like Maleficent, we are both villain and hero. One thing that struck me was that unlike other Disney movie of old, love did not vanquish what is evil, but transformed it.
When I was yet a sinner, Christ came and loved me. Even, my sin pinned Him to a deathly sleep. To the point where I was brought to repentance, earnestly desiring to be made right again, and making my life aligned to Him. And as I begin to find my freedom, I know who my Lord is – Jesus Christ, and I crown Him King.
A truly beautiful piece.
love did not vanquish what is evil, but transformed it.
Picture source http://movies.disney.com/maleficent/downloads/social