Roland often tells this joke about Satan entering a congregation of worshipers. Frightened with his presence, the parishioners begin to flee the church except for one man. Satan sits next to him on the pew and after trying a few more scare tactics finally says to the man, “Why is it that you are not frightened of me.”
The man just looks at him and shakes his head and says, “Nothing you can do will frighten me. After all, I’ve been married to your sister for the last twenty years”
Roland’s marriage to his last wife did not make it to twenty years however. But I think that is who he thinks about when he tells the joke.
When I saw the advertisements for Disney’s Maleficent, I thought to myself: “How quaint. A movie about Roland’s ex-wife”
For those of you who have read my blog from the beginning, you will know that Maleficent is the name I assigned Roland’s ex. WARNING: I am now about to reveal some spoilers from the movie itself. To distinguish Roland’s ex and the movie character, I will refer to Disney’s maleficent creature as “mal A” and Roland’s ex as “mal B”
The movie starts out revealing mal A as a youth – though quite young, she appears to be the ruler. She cares about the other creatures within the moors where they all live. She has a sense of humor. She flies with large black wings. She is happy.
I had once heard that mal B had a heart at one time – must have been many years before I crossed paths with her. I had heard that she would give the shirt off her back to one who was in need. I find that hard to believe.
Mal A meets Stefan – a young pauper who has a desire to be a king one day so that he can live in the grand Castle and rule over the humans. Mal A lets Stefan know that humans are not welcome in the moors. Stefan is the first to make a sacrifice to save their friendship when he tosses his iron ring so that he may never hurt mal A and she is truly touched by his sacrifice. It seems like an unrealistic friendship for either one of them to pursue but each does wish to see the other again.
As the years go by, Stefan comes around less often and seems to disappear altogether. He had made his way into the human palace and stands a chance of gaining favor with the king. A king who would like to make the moors part of his kingdom – but not the creatures themselves. He promises each of his sires that whichever one of them will kill mal A and bring him proof – that sire will get to marry the king’s daughter and rule as king when the current ruler has passed on.
Stefan goes to the moors to warn mal A that the king has sent out a death threat against her because he wishes for more land. I found Stefan to be sincere – yet I knew that he desired to rule as king – and according to legend is the father of Aurora.
Stefan drugs mal A and holds up a knife to stab her, but is unable to do it. He clips her wings instead. When mal A wakes up from her sleep, she immediately notices that her wings have been removed and she cries out with so many emotions: sadness, pain, anger, resentment . . .
I had heard that mal B had been robbed of her innocence when she was younger – though I don’t know how young. But I heard that it had been by people whom she trusted – those that should have protected her. She may have felt their presence disappear the way mal A had with Stefan. At some point she may have felt betrayed, as though her metaphorical wings (whatever that may have been) had been removed.
Stefan is gone when mal A wakes, so obviously he must be responsible. Mal A seeks vengeance upon him. He must pay for doing her harm.
Because she has no wings, she finds somebody who does. A raven caught in a snare. At first I think she saves him just out of habit – but when he asks she decides to make him her servant. His first assignment is to find Stefan.
After the raven finds Stefan, he reports back to mal A that Stefan has become king and that a princess has been born and that there will be a celebration. Mal A, of course, has not been invited, but she shows up nonetheless. Mal B used people all the time – still uses people I would imagine. And ALWAYS inviting herself into positions where she is not welcome.
Mal A curses Aurora with a spell that she will prick herself upon the spindle of a spinning will and fall into an eternal sleep that only true love’s kiss can wake. Mal A doesn’t believe in true love. I would imagine that mal B may have believed in true love at one time, but she doesn’t anymore. I think any flicker of love that may have been left has gone out from her life. And I wonder if she will ever get it back.
Stefan is upset that mal A has intruded upon his little family. He is upset with the very idea that she has cursed his little girl. But I think that deep down he is more upset with himself – for the price he had paid to become a king. For once he had betrayed his friendship with mal A, he had lost what once made him happy – never to find it again. He’d allowed himself to be engulfed in the pain. But instead of trying to repair the damage, he made things worse for himself and for his kingdom. He fell into a state of darkness – darker than mal A dressed.
That made me wonder if mal B was truly the victim or if she had gone after her desires in a way that Stefan had and had betrayed someone she loved and never got over it and allowed the pain to envelop her so much that she’d forgotten what made her angry in the first place. Her heart needs to be softened. Problem is that no one can find it.
Mal A watches over Aurora who constantly smiles at her. She has a beautiful smile. Meanwhile Stefan seems to forget about Aurora as he makes plans on how to destroy mal A. His pride continues to eat at him. And he is never happy. But mal A becomes happy as she watches over Aurora – which she had never intended and does try to fight it a first. Aurora finds mal A’s heart – who wishes to undo the curse, but just can’t seem to.
I love the twist of events as the end when Phillip kisses Aurora and what follows when she doesn’t wake up from his kiss. I would hope that perhaps one day mal B’s heart can be found and that she may go from hero (Stefan) to Villain (mal A) the way that this movie has depicted.
Often we may label what makes a hero and what makes a villain. But there is always deception. Maybe not always, but often enough. We read about it in history. We live with it in the court rooms. We’ve seen corrupt rulers and governments and we have seen true heroes that wish to remain silent. For that’s what true heroes are.