Wow, Disney. Bold move. While I think it’s safe to assume that general film goers understood the rape implication of some scenes in Maleficent, Angelina Jolie’s recent confirmation settles the matter. Maleficent is a rape allegory. And I think Disney should be praised.
Here’s Jolie’s full statement:
We were very conscious, the writer [Linda Woolverton] and I, that it was a metaphor for rape. This would be the thing that would make her lose sight. … The core of [the film] is abuse, and how the abused have a choice of abusing others or overcoming and remaining loving, open people. The question was asked, ‘What could make a woman become so dark? To lose all sense of her maternity, her womanhood, and her softness?’”
Disney should prepare for a deluge of backlash, as they’ve marketed themselves as the family friendly alternative to Hollywood’s sexploitative tween flicks. While the House of Mouse offers content that far surpasses the typical “Twilight”-esque offerings of their competitors, revealing Maleficent as a rape allegory is some real heavy stuff. Certainly, it adds some weight and depth to a traditional fairy tale, but is that what consumers wanted?
I doubt it.
But I’m not the typical consumer, so I think it’s a really interesting twist on an otherwise innocuous, CGI centric movie. I’ll definitely rewatch. I wonder how the wide world of hashtag activists will respond? While the vast majority of these clicktivists/slacktivists are misguided (let me rage on Twitter and pretend like I’m being productive instead of, you know, being productive!), I’m satisfied that such a taboo facet of modern society is being addressed in cinema.
Sure, it’s in metaphorical form, but still… bold move, Disney.