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Film Review: Mirror Mirror.

Check out the review for the first adaptation of Snow White to grace our screens this year; Mirror Mirror.

Synopsis

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there lived a not so evil queen (Julia Roberts) and her beautiful yet slightly irritating stepdaughter Snow White (Lily Collins); whose hair was as black as night and skin as pale as snow. Jealous of her beauty, the queen banishes her stepdaughter into the dreaded forest, the same forest that engulfed her father (Sean Bean) 10 years prior. Alone and afraid, the young girl meets a group of seven outcaste dwarfs, to which she befriends and hatches a plan to regain the control of her kingdom from the “evil” clutches of her stepmother.

Review

Clearly 2012 is the year where producers are sitting down and thinking, “What is it that we need to do to get the ratings” and some bright spark suggests “make two Snow White adaptations in the same year?” Right? Wrong! Now there is always going to be competition between the two which will see one that will be better than the other and Mirror Mirror is not it. Fingers crossed that Kristen Stewart’s action packed version of the classic fairytale has a bit more narrative and seriousness because this film is certainly lax in both of these areas.

As soon as I sat down to watch the film I thought it was going to be a refreshing adaptation of an overdone classic. The opening sequence was filmed using puppets and told of a story that focuses on the evil queen rather than the typical version that focuses on innocent Snow White. However, this theme was not carried through. The film focused on Snow White and her need to regain her kingdom, which was extremely disappointing as it lulled me into a false sense of security.

On the other hand, what I do like about this version is the feminist aspect. Snow White doesn’t just sit there and wait to be rescued; she is a sword-wielding, Robin Hood-esque rebel that befriends a group of dwarf bandits to help her get back what is rightfully hers through brute strength. Funnily enough the prince (Armie Hammer) is actually the pathetic character that is in need of rescue. An effective but obvious twist on the classic tale.

In typical Tarsem Singh style, the colours were fanciful and the costumes were an over the top version of Elizabethan dress. This added an authentic tone to the film; however, I can’t help but think because of this over exaggerated style that the film’s seriousness went flying out of the window, along with its dignity. For films such as Immortal, Singh’s excessive desire for a fanciful style works well, but with this film in particular, it seemed like an unserious parody.

Julia Roberts plays the role of the Queen, who could not be evil if she tried. Sure she banishes Snow White into the forest and sure she grabs Collin’s arm hard in haste, but Roberts does not have a bad bone in her body. If anything the Queen should be classed as sarcastic and ironic rather than evil. Lily Collins plays the innocent and oppressed Snow White with glamour and elegance; however, she lacks confidence, which left the leading lady spot unfulfilled. Armie Hammer plays Prince Alcott, the annoying and unintelligent Prince that should have been cast as Dopey rather than the Prince Charming through his inability to take the part seriously. If I’m honest, everyone’s acting style was a little forced, thus leaving the seriousness and realistic intention behind and leaving an exaggerated parody of the Disney story.  The sparkle on the teeth? Seriously?

The giant puppeteer sequence and the terror of the “beast” adds a mild horror element to the film, yet these notions could have been explored more to give the film excitement and a bit more of an edge. Had the potential to be great but not fully developed unfortunately!

Verdict

Ridiculously colourful and over the top, this film screams Singh, however, with lack of narrative, poor acting skills and mediocre gags, this film is the embodiment of disaster.

2/5

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