Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mirror Mirror

Year: 2012
Director: Tarsem Singh
Cast: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane

Plot: The first of two adaptations of the Snow White fairytale coming out this year. This is the less serious one.

Review: I remembered the general reaction after the trailer to Mirror Mirror was first released. Everyone was like: WTF? But after seeing the film, I gotta say the movie is pretty damn good.

Everyone knows the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and the evil Queen who hates her, and the handsome Prince that comes along. Director Tarsem Singh updates the tale for the modern generation, and makes it a lot of fun and humorous for the audience. Tarsem, who is well known for his visual flair (The Cell, Immortals), creates the world of Snow White using a lot of green screen obviously, but also lots of bright looking sets. Credit goes out to the set designer, as well as costume designer Eiko Ishioka (who died recently) for her awesome costumes. The outfits for Snow White and the Queen are just lovely.

Scriptwise, the dialogue is corny and funny at the same time, which means the cast hams it up, never taking themselves too seriously. If you walk in expecting a Lord of the Rings style adventure, then you're watching the wrong Snow White film. On the surface, it might look juvenile, but rest assured, the film is extremely entertaining.

Julia Roberts uses her undeniable screen presence to great effect, owning nearly every scene she's in as the evil Queen. Lily Collins on the other hand is perfect as Snow White. She is exactly the way you'd imagine Snow White to be: vulnerable and emotional. It's only in the second half of the film where Snow becomes more confident, yet still retaining her girly attributes. Armie Hammer is also a great choice as the Prince, as he is not only a solid actor, but also looks the part. It also helps that Hammer and Collins have great chemistry together. The always funny Nathan Lane rounds up the cast as the Queen's bumbling assistant. 

I should also mention the seven little men (Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Martin Klebba and Ronald Lee Clark) playing the seven dwarves, who are fun to watch. The lion's share of the humor comes from them.

My sole complaint would be Roberts' portrayal of the Queen as snobbish and vain when she ought to be more evil and cruel. Perhaps in an attempt to make this tale more suitable for the kids, the writers chose this path. But it matters little, as Mirror Mirror is a very entertaining piece of work for people of all ages.

P.S.: The Bollywood style ending is brilliant. And yes, that's Lily Collins singing. (3.5/5)  

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