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April 17, 2021


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Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon...

Other News

Interview with Jean Kittson

Comedian, writer, and social commentator Jean Kittson has the ability to distil complex ideas into commonsense. Jean is one of the national treasures in conversation with Mandy Nolan and Fiona O’Loughlin at No Eggs for Breakfast, a comedic chat themed around life beyond fertility! It seemed remiss not to ask Ms Kittson on her take on the debacle that is federal politics and gender equity.

Step up, Ben

Martin Corben, Lennox Head With the cancellation of Bluesfest now would be a good time for the NSW state government’s...

Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon...

Beware of flood damage scams

NSW Fair Trading is warning consumers about opportunistic tradespeople trying to take advantage during the flood recovery process as the state gets back on its feet.

Policy not ‘housekeeping’

Heather Martin, Mullumbimby According to a report in The Echo (24 March), the planning staff’s proposed amendments to LEP 2014...

Overcharging and misrepresentation

Josh Scrivener, Palmwoods Three weeks ago I looked online to buy a Bluesfest 2021 ticket. The Google ad directed me...

Maleficent might be described as Disney’s very contemporary prequel to the studio’s famous animated version of Sleeping Beauty (1959), only with an unexpected but touching twist when Aurora (Elle Fanning) is aroused from her slumber.

As per general practice, the story is set in a non-specific medieval period, with a pointy-turreted castle, helmeted soldiers with spears and a Scots-accented court.

They live on the human side of the water, whereas the neighbouring moorland is occupied by fairies and dragons and other fantastical creatures. Their queen is Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and, according to this take on events, she put the evil spell on the beautiful young princess (that she’d prick her finger on a spinning wheel and fall into a death-like sleep) out of spite and jealousy because she had been betrayed by Aurora’s father, Stefan.

It’s a dark, unflattering depiction of what underpins people’s behaviour – but fairytales are more often than not like that (grim by name and nature). Maleficent, after she’d had her wings stolen by Stefan, used her transformative powers to turn a crow into the human Diaval (Sam Riley), whom she then employed as the partner of her labours (with an Irish accent – are the two Celtic tongues subliminally differentiated as mean and warm?).

Engaging if not wholly absorbing, it moves on a logical progression with clearly identified cause and effects etc, and the CGI is typically wondrous (it would be so especially for kids), if not especially memorable (smoke-and-mirrors is so taken for granted these days).

Jolie is not quite scary enough, despite her fearfully chiseled cheek-bones and cold glassy eyes, but she will provide a challenge for the younger audience, for she is both villain and heroine, a wronged woman whose natural desire for vengeance unfortunately falls on an innocent victim.

The handsome prince is a gormless non-event, the mother of Aurora, Stefan’s bride, is written out of the script entirely and, as one of the fairies tasked with looking after Aurora, Imelda Staunton displays her unfailing genius to annoy.

~ John Campbell


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