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Maleficent (Tumblr: the movie)

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Posted (edited)

Maleficent is getting bad reviews.

Here is an excerpt from a review:

"...Maleficent treats male characters as either inconsequential or downright despicable, while completely spinning a villain into a heroic figure solely by way of victimization."

This movie is about to blow up on Tumblr.

Bad movie? Check.

Misandry? Check.

Victim worship? Check.

Glorifying "strong" women? Check.

As a bonus, the movie has also been called unnecessary, biased and blunt with its intended message, and that it lacked substance.

This movie IS Tumblr.

Edited by L.L. Bean's Menswear (see edit history)
Knuckle and PrimaGaga like this

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Posted

How was the movie for you?

 

I intend to watch it at some point because I feel like watching movies lately. I'll take these things into consideration when watching it, but I won't let them decide whether I enjoy it or not. I don't want to be stating my opinion on a movie starting with the words "the movie has been called".

 

But yeah, I'll see it in context and come back with what I think.

pheonix561 likes this

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Posted

I've heard her performance is good, but thats about it. The thing I liked about Maleficent though, was that she was COMPLETELY evil. Sometimes that can be refreshing in a character.

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Posted

What's Misandry, I don't recognise that word?

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Posted

Female misogyny.

 

Somewhat ironic if you know what misogyny is. 

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Posted

Yeah but that doesn't exist


Also, this is a bad thread. Do you want to discuss the movie or do you want to make a tired argument about tumblr yet again? I don't think anyone actually cares what you think about tumblr, no one gives a shit about your pet war.

PrimaGaga and Cascade like this

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Posted (edited)

I would've made a status but...

Also you are mad.

Edited by L.L. Bean's Menswear (see edit history)

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Posted

I actually did think of something recently while my brain was drifting on the matter. I was pondering in my head what's more effective at creating societal change; a film/TV show/etc, or a community?

 

My idea was that a film is inherently better; there's the incentive of profit that drives the executives to promote the movie, so if you have a message in the product it spreads further and quicker. Communities, on the other hand, are just kinda spreading information amongst themselves most of the time. I mean, the entire system of Tumblr is based around putting something on your blog (really the entire logical fallacy of reblogging = progress frustrates me because I think it accomplishes nothing but making the audience more frustrated and stuck in a cycle, but I won't rant on that unless someone wants me to later) so maybe a bit of it gets out into the internet but for the most part, stuff that gets brought up on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr doesn't leave the site.

 

On the other hand, creative media usually expresses it's values in an indirect way, especially popular ones. Sometimes the message is direct but there's almost always a fair chance the message someone wants to spread just gets ignored. If you give someone a film, they have to interpret a lot of stuff and unfortunately some of your audience might just overlook stuff, but there's no wiggle room for that in a community complaint. Unless it's a poorly written piece or work, everyone who reads something on Tumblr is going to know exactly what that person wants and there's a definite advantage to that.

 

To summarize my rambling, film really does have some advantages and disadvantages over Tumblr folk trying to spread their message so I guess having both is justified. Even if you don't like the message of Maleficent I don't think it's a detraction for it to parrot other people's viewpoints.

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Posted

I'm interpreting the movie as pandering trash. But I'm not misinterpreting it. There's not a single, underlying message or truth to a movie or an artwork or a song. The creator can try as hard as they can to send a message, but it's up to the viewer to interpret it. And any way that they interpret it is valid.

Also, there's no "progress" that has ever occurred that didn't benefit the people with money. Disney isn't trying to send a message with Maleficent. They aren't standing for anything when they make this movie. They just know that "strong females" have been making a lot of money lately. So they dug through their IPs and slapped this movie together.

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Posted

Maybe, and this is a shocking thought, films don't need to alternate between being pandering trash and having a grand thematic undertone you agree with. MAYBE, having a strong female lead, regardless of the reasoning behind why they have one, is a good thing! This is a terrible argument, you can make it for any movie that has ever been released by a major studio, we all know that they do the things that they think will appeal with the greatest number of their target demographics. But I don't see you trashing the artistic integrity of all the other films that came out, so why this one?

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Posted (edited)

I'm fine with seeing movies about women. But when the movie is beating you over the head with "hey guys this is a strong female", it's different. This movie is an obvious cash-grab, rehashing a story that no one was asking to be rehashed but with extra topical themes sprinkled on top. I am laughing at the wording of the review of the movie, not the actual movie. I'm laughing at just how well Disney has the vulnerable, impressionable, low-confidence young female market on lock down. It's just funny how easily manipulated they are. All you have to do is implement the crudest, most heavy-handed and most explicit version of their beliefs into a Disney movie and you have a winner.

The movie is a product of the times. And the movie, like the times, are laughable.

Edited by L.L. Bean's Menswear (see edit history)

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Posted

Yeah, things definitely follow trends. Some people see an opportunity to make a movie that can take advantage of the trend. I'm not sure it's pandering trash though. It's just a story they decided to make because now would be a good time to make it, in terms of cash.

 

I feel like if you forget that people might market Maleficent as a strong female lead, and recognise that there are plenty male characters who shove their strength in the viewer's face, then it doesn't need to seem so much like a political statement. In the end it's just the story of a character, and the character is whatever she is, no matter what statement that makes. Character variety is good, though it's true that there can be a point where the variety can be quite unrealistic, like if most of the characters are ridiculously stupid, only to highlight the relative intelligence of the main characters.

 

I haven't seen the movie though so I can't say much about whether the story is told in a biased way, or if there's an element of narrator bias to the whole thing (if you want to see a villain in a positive light you have to see the world from their point of view after all). If you don't highlight the bias though you run the risk of messing with people's worldview, or pandering in that you serve to confirm something in the viewer, whether or not it's right. If nobody points out why the antihero is wrong people might stay on the antihero's side even after the movie ends, and that seems like irresponsible storytelling to me. This movie might not have narrator bias though, it might just be shallow, if it is shallow.

 

Live action Disney fantasy movies tend to be a bit trashy in general though, I feel. Narnia and Alice in Wonderland as well. Unnecessary fight scenes for one. I felt like sighing a little when I saw the trailer and it was like "fantasy monster fight scene this way comes". How many times will they do that camera shot where two waves of army collide with one another and it zooms in on the front line crashing into battle? Those were both decent movies though.

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Posted

LL, i love you but, you dwell on what you hate too much. It's too "hipster cool" to hate stuff, which is funny cause you pretend to hate hipsters. 

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Posted

Hipster means nothing. I'm not sure it ever did.

 


 

Live action Disney fantasy movies tend to be a bit trashy in general though, I feel. Narnia and Alice in Wonderland as well. Unnecessary fight scenes for one. I felt like sighing a little when I saw the trailer and it was like "fantasy monster fight scene this way comes". How many times will they do that camera shot where two waves of army collide with one another and it zooms in on the front line crashing into battle? Those were both decent movies though.

 

No joke. Everything wants to have a lord of the rings battle. Modern fantasy movies can never just be about some people off to see the wizard, there has to be a massive EPIC battle.

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Posted

That review you quoted is a heaping load of bull. I watched the movie and, as I imagined, it isn't anything like it says.

 

This is not "spinning a villain into a heroic figure solely by way of victimization". This is taking a kind fairy and tearing off her wings, causing her to take revenge. It doesn't spin her into a hero for taking revenge against the man who did her wrong, but it doesn't say the baddie is in the right either. They both did wrong by each other, and that's clear from watching the movie.

 

This is not trying to justify the Maleficent of Sleeping Beauty, who I imagine is a good old fashioned villain type. This is an alternate retelling of the original story, where you assume that the original movie is written in the way history is; by people watching it from the sidelines who didn't know the full facts. It suggests that this is the true history and the true story, before it was obscured by legend.

 

This is not about victim worship. The king did wrong to her out of greed and ambition, and in turn she did wrong to him; cursing his daughter to spite him. She comes to regret her actions throughout the course of the film, and by the end she admits her revenge was wrong and uncalled for. She puts on her villainous air in public, and holds a cold heart to most folk after her initial betrayal near the beginning of the film.

 

Whatever you think the moral of this was meant to be, it was about how revenge can perpetuate pain not only for the target, but whoever is dragged into it as pawns. It's not okay to put a curse on a baby to get back at their father.

 

Also it's always cool to see a villain, so in that sense every movie glorifies them. However in this Maleficent is just purposefully cold-hearted, and not purely evil. She admits her mistakes and takes responsibility for them in the end. The 'villain' king was born from from reckless ambition, and paranoia and madness over the curse put on his daughter and his love for her. He was understandable, and though what he did in the first instance was terrible, what Maleficent did in return was near as bad if not worse. He wouldn't have become the man he did in the end if Maleficent hadn't taken her revenge.

 

The female characters included Aurora, Maleficent, and the three fairy women people who looked after Aurora. The male characters are the King and Prince Philip (who shows up as not a very important character, but is relevant). Everybody else are just background with few lines. The only women in the castle were maids, while all the bannermen and guards were men, from what I noticed. The magic folk were all genderless balls of light, trolls, or tree people.

 

The battle from the trailer took part at the start of the film and wasn't overly important. It set up plot points in a sensible way though, so it wasn't entirely unnecessesary (and besides, you need something exciting in a movie trailer so why not a battle).

 

 

This movie isn't beating us over the head with the 'strong woman' archetype. This Maleficent isn't a one dimensional baddie showing off her strength - she has a lot of fragile points and you notice that. There's something wrong with the line of thinking that if a movie has a strong female lead, it's a movie solely about strong women. This movie is not about being a strong woman who won't be pushed around. It's about why revenge is bad.


Please don't let your assumptions about a movie and the words of random reviewers decide how you watch a movie or what you think about it. Think for yourself and base it on your own experience. Have you seen Maleficent? Were you just basing your rants on a deluded individual's review plus a brief idea of the movie, and a previous knowledge of another incarnation of the same character? I'm not sure how much of this is your own opinion and I'm sorry if it seems like I'm having a proper go at you.

 

I can understand where you're assumptions come from, but the big point is that this is an alternate retelling where Maleficent is a very different character.

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