I had read about the prosthetic cheek bones that were added to Angelina Jolie in her portrayal of Maleficent and how, when she had her horns and robes on, all the child actors were frightened and wouldn’t go near her. So, Jolie’s own daughter, Vivienne, was enlisted to play the young Aurora.
There was quite a bit of media hype and back story about this Disney movie, Maleficent, and so I figured that I should see it. I thought it was great! I definitely appreciated the story line’s twist on the classic Brothers Grimm’s tale of Cinderella.
There were a number of times during the watching of Maleficent that I thought about our historic Unitarian Universalist faith’s declaration of the transforming power of courageous love and how lives are changed by living out of love, rather than giving in to bitterness, hatred or apathy.
In the movie, Maleficent suffers a painful betrayal and her once-loving pure heart is hardened by her anger and the desire for revenge. It is only through the re-capturing of what it means to have love in one’s heart that Maleficent moves beyond hatred and anger toward peace and she returns to a truly loving heart.
This movie struck a chord with me as I reflected on how humanity – you and I – often (more often than I think anyone of us wants to admit!) – on how we lose sight of the redemptive and transforming power of love. The need to open our minds, hearts, and spirits to being the kind of loving beings that we aspire to is a very real need for us.
Showing love to others, being in love with life, acting in loving ways in the world – we all need to become better at this. We recite that “Love is the spirit of our church” – of our Unitarian Universalist faith. The times that we live in call for us to put aside our foolish and petty ways and live into the kind of loving relationships, harmony, and peacefulness that we profess as a part of our faith tradition.
There is far too much hatred, apathy, anger, and angst in the world. I do think that we all could do so much more to better live our faith’s precepts if we took to heart what love freely given to one another – to our world – and to ourselves can mean.
There truly is a very powerful and transforming aspect to loving better, more openly and freely. In many ways, the ability to give and receive love is one of humanity’s most gracious and precious gifts. We need to make far better use of this gift each and every day. Disney’s Maleficent – it’s a good movie and an excellent reminder of what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist!