Title: Mirror Mirror
Release Date: Out Now
Mirror Mirror continues the throwback to myth and legend that is currently sweeping the ‘tween’ nation thanks to the Twilight series. The film is but one of two reimaginings of the classic Grimm fairy tale, Snow White, out this year, and attempts to modernise the story, but widely misses the mark. On reflection, the Kristen Stewart-led Snow White and the Huntsmen will not have a lot to live up to.
The colourful film follows the basic criteria of the original “Once upon a time …” tale to which everyone is familiar. Snow White (Lily Collins) is locked away by her evil stepmother (Julia Roberts) as she fights to hold onto the title of ‘fairest of them all’ within the kingdom. The princess eventually escapes the clutches of the Queen’s bumbling henchman. Newly independent, she encounters the Prince (the face of the Winklevii himself, Armie Hammer), who is on his way to the castle and takes a shine to her. As she continues on her journey, she stumbles upon the seven dwarves who heroically attempt to win back her birthright and help the suffering people of the kingdom.
Mirror is imbued with some impressively Burtonesque cinematography, and the detailed costuming and set-design are also worthy of praise. However, the film lacks playfulness and never fully embraces how ludicrous it really is. Similarly, the characters come across as bland, with the extremities of their personae never being fully exploited. Singh plays it safe, and Mirror feels rudderless as a result.
Roberts cannot be taken seriously as evil, by any stretch of the imagination. It has to be said that she is just too likeable for such a role. Her attempts at a cackle befitting a witch are unbearable and unbelievable. Snow White, despite her beauty, is unmemorable and for someone who has just turned eighteen, she has a much older demeanour. The prince certainly lacks in the charming department, and his meetings with the princess are extremely awkward. All three characters lack chemistry, and thus the entire film is dramatically flawed.
The stars of the Mirror, Mirror are the seven dwarves, who are repackaged with new, modern names and a more action-packed role. They produce many of the film’s killer lines and also provide some of the best acting, despite an Oscar-winner presence in the cast.
In a Nutshell: The magic of the original tale is left out, but it is a technical achievement nonetheless.