Film Friday: Maleficent

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In the movie Maleficent there is a sense in which Disney is rewriting its own history. The film gives us the back story to the evil queen who cast a spell over the baby Aurora, the new princess who will become the Sleeping Beauty. It’s a little like the musical Wicked, which tells the back story of the Wicked Witch of the West. The film works hard to make Maleficent sympathetic, even to the point of tweaking with the… er… truth. If fairy tales can be said to be true! Aurora holds the key to a brighter future and as the story plays out Maleficent realises she has jeopardised that.

We’d most of us love to rewrite the story at times, and certainly we’d love to retell the tale of this prodigal world, and have it all turn out okay in the end. There is a moment in the book of Revelation, in chapter 21, when a figure on a throne declares, ‘I’m making everything new!’ A prophetic glimpse of a time when everything will be rebooted. Creation reset in certain ways to the manufacturers specifications.

In Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ Jesus quotes this line as he walks towards the place of his gruesome death. He will lose his life, but the planet will regain something lost, history will be in a sense rewritten. The end will come into sight, along with a brighter future. It’s an end that is a kind of beginning.

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