Mirror Mirror (2012)

Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 9:06 PM | Posted in

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 4.9/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 7/10

MIRROR MIRROR (2012) - Tarsem Singh

Snow White -- skin white as snow, lips red as blood, hair black as night. Blah blah blah. No, her hair is not black. It is raven and she is eighteen years old -- and her skin has never seen the sun, so of course it is good. She spent her whole life living in a dark tower, so what do you expect?

Taking a new turn for the original fairy tale, Mirror Mirror touches on the comedy aspect of fantasies, a more lighthearted approach compared to the dark Snow White and the Huntsman.

Mirror Mirror has all our familiar characters: The lovely Snow White (Lily Collins), locked in a tower by the Queen (Julia Roberts). After defying the Queen's orders and leaving the palace, Snow White meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) as well as the classic seven dwarves. As the film progresses, the charming group form a rebellion to stop the Queen and bring her down from the throne.

The Queen is not evil in this movie. According to Director Singh, she is only insecure, which Julia Roberts portrays with great precision. Furthermore, choosing a familiar actress makes the Queen a character we can follow, one we can relate to. She despises Snow White the same way the evil stepmother despises Cinderella. It may seem cliche or too merry, but it is simplistic and easy to follow, similar to live-action films made by Disney. Thus, never once do we actually fear the Queen, which might disappoint certain viewers, but the atmosphere and tone of Mirror Mirror shows that the Queen should have a more humorous side to her character arc. This film is perhaps the most fun Julia Roberts has had since her golden times, possibly during Erin Brockovich or Pretty Woman.

Snow White is indeed fair in this movie, and Lily Collins brings her character's inner and outer beauty to life on screen. She is optimistic, good-natured, and caring -- always looking at the bright side of things. She may not be the best actress, but she is very well casted for appearances. Sweet and charming, Collins is the perfect Snow White for a film like Mirror Mirror. Kristen Stewart, eat your heart out.

Fortunately for Mirror Mirror, the film is also assisted with a great cast of supporting actors, including Hammer as the Prince, the seven dwarves, and Nathan Lane (Mouse Hunt) as the Queen's personal assistant. The prince here has a twist to his character, for he is not the one and only man who is brave and can defeat all works of wickedness. He is probably the most original character in the whole film and probably the most intriguing to watch. Hammer, beating James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class) and Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number FourBeastly) in auditions, has come a long way since two years ago when he played the serious role of the Winklevoss twins in the 2010 film The Social Network. The seven dwarves have names completely different from the Disney version, but just like the Disney film, they are lovable and very easy to tell who's who, especially when one of them is the famous dwarf crew-member on the Black Pearl in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. As for Nathan Lane, his character is also appealing, but director Singh should have given him more freedom on his comedic performance. Undoubtedly inferior to his appearance in Mouse Hunt as well as The Producers, Nathan Lane could have been much funnier and could have been one of those "minor favorite" characters.

Mirror Mirror, like all other fantasy films, wins our hearts with fine costume-work and art direction. The tree trunks in the forest do look fake, but fake as in storybook-like, kind of like a hybrid between Where The Wild Things Are and The Wizard of Oz. The artistic painting-like background immerses us into the world with great effort and color. Its mischievous tone is attractive, though more as pleasing than decent satire, but in terms of a movie, Mirror Mirror is a pretty picture to look at…. but with a few cracks in the corners.

In spite of the fact that Mirror Mirror is ravishing, it is also surprisingly unoriginal as a whole -- meaning if you are aware of the story of Snow White, then this would not offer something really extraordinary. Sometimes it lacks energy and proper cinematic effort. As mentioned before, the dialogue is rather flat at times. From the New York Times, director Singh knows how to "make performers and sets look good, [but] he has trouble putting them into vibrant, kinetic, meaningful play, which effectively means that he is a better window dresser than a movie director." However, there are movies that are made for just amusement, fun, and simply to kill time. It is a nice show in which our expectations are fulfilled with admirable extravaganza. Mirror Mirror is a perfect example, of a film where parents spend a few money, take their children to the theater, buy some popcorn, and have a good time. 

In conclusion, Mirror Mirror is a jolly merry-go-round. It is classic lightheartedness being organic and produced efficiently onto the big screen. Despite the awkward dialogue and peculiar facial expressions that can define the film as "trippy," Mirror Mirror strives still with charm and sweetness, purely innocent entertainment for the whole family. It may not be the fairest of them all, but it is very engaging nonetheless and one of the more peacefully entertaining films of 2012. Tired of fantasies done Tim Burton style? Did not like Alice in Wonderland? Looking for something gorgeous? Mirror Mirror is your answer.

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