Released: March 30, 2012
Director: Tarsem Singh
Writers: Jason Keller, Marc Klein
Julia Roberts as The Queen
Lily Collins as Snow White
Armie Hammer as Prince Alcott
Synopsis from IMDB:
After the beloved King vanishes, his ruthless wife seizes control of the kingdom and keeps her beautiful 18-year-old stepdaughter, Snow White, hidden away in the palace. But when the Princess attracts the attention of a charming and wealthy visiting prince, the jealous Queen banishes the girl to a nearby forest. Taken in by a band of rebellious but kindhearted dwarfs, Snow White blossoms into a brave young woman determined to save her country from the Queen. With the support of her new friends, she roars into action to reclaim her birthright and win back her Prince in this magical adventure comedy that will capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences.
So the theme these days is the retelling of fairytales, the Disney version or otherwise. This year in particular seems to be Snow White themed (ABC's Once Upon A Time, Snow White and the Huntsman *shudder* just to name a few). I hadn't really heard anything about Mirror Mirror promotion wise it wasn't huge, and when it premiered way back in March it was kind of buried under the shadow of The Hunger Games. So when I got free cheap-movie passes that were set to expire this week and out of all the options, Mirror Mirror was the best one (Battleship was the other, but I was pretty iffy about a movie based on the game...).
I went into Mirror Mirror with pretty low expectations, I had seen previews for it and all I could recall was a blur of skirts in bright colors. The story remains fairly true to the usual script, Snow White is kept hidden away and opressed while the Queen takes center stage (she loves to spend money she doesn't have). Then there's the slew of ever helpful servants that open Snow White's eyes to the world and it makes her want to be a better person. They do add a few elements to the story, and shift things around a bit - but all in all it was a very recognizable story.
Since this is pitched as a comedy, on that front it doesn't disappoint. The whole movie is a giant farce. It has slap-stick humor and crude jokes. Some moments are genuinely funny, and others are just so ridiculous you have to laugh. It even manages to incorporate slightly cartoonish elements like sparkles when there's "magic" or little popping hearts above heads when they're in love - it was a little weird at first.
I think since the writers and directors knew with the cookie cutter script, they weren't likely to win any awards for story or acting, so they threw all their pennies into visual stimulation overload. The costumes were bright and extremely elaborate, if not a little bit weird at times (A swan on the head? Really?). But I loved each and every one of them! They're so gorgeous!
On a side note, @PaisleyTran and I have a long standing and odd fascination with Lily Collin's eyebrows. With the dark hair and ebony skin they give her, it looks like they might've darkened and possibly over expanded her eyebrows, just to give her a hyper expressive face. Even my boyfriend noticed, and Paisley was right when she said that it's not just us if even a guy noticed, because it has to be something HUGE if a guy notices something so frivolous.
Eyebrows aside, Collins played the role well, it's not that difficult to play the quiet reserved girl with few lines and all you have to do is smile sweetly. But she does take the more action oriented side of her role very well, and she eventually convinced me that she's more than just a soft spoken sweet face (queue training montage here).
Julia Roberts was brilliant as the Queen though. She's well practiced in how to be haughty, lavish and mischievous. She even manages to deliver the snarky comedy with perfect timing and shrillness to the voice.
I do like how the writers/directors decided to incorporate the talking mirror, it was a very unique but effective way of letting the viewer get inside the Queen's head.
Prince Alcott was either the best Prince ever or the worst Prince ever, I'm a bit conflicted. On one hand he's got the privileged Prince down, the masochism, the large ego and instant attraction to Snow. Then once in awhile you get a glimpse of a half decent guy. But to me he was still a douche 90% of the time, and I really wondered how Snow could be attracted to him (I'm betting on the whole "she never really met anyone else").
The dwarves/acrobats, stole the show. They MADE the movie in my opinion. They're a hilarious bad ass group, mining gold in a different kind of way, and when they're paired with Snow they become absolutely the sweetest group of guys ever!
The ending does diverge from the traditional story a bit - and I had waited the whole movie to wonder how they'd incorporate the apple. I could live with the ending though, it showed a more mature Snow that isn't as daft as I initially thought. Then in some weird twist of fate we get a Bollywood musical at the end complete with high pitched singing, choreographed dances and swirls of colorful skirts. I just went with it.
Mirror Mirror is one of those guilty pleasure kind of movies. You'll probably watch it when you're really really bored and need a bizarre pick me up or you'll watch it once and go with it and then probably never watch it again. But in the end, you'll probably never speak of it to anyone because it's a shameful, shameful secret.
Rating: 3/5 Drinkable cups of tea!
It was genuinely entertaining, I mean it's not like it has some soul shattering revelations that will change your life. You'll watch it for the laughs and the costumes and it's my first taste of how well Lily Collins acts - and how well she'll do for The Mortal Instruments movies. I think she'll do just fine, especially when they need the whole hesitant-turned kick ass heroine part. I just ask that they reign in her eyebrows a bit.