Saying it dozens of times does not change a thing… but I’ll say it again. Fairy tales have captured our imaginations for generations. Pretending to have the answer is not something I’ll claim except to speculate that, like anything at the box office, it plays to our daydream of another world. They transport us into a life not our own even if only for an all too brief period of time. No matter our age, still they are magical. Mirror Mirror is one of the most fun to come along in a long time.
Mirror Mirror (2012) Film Review
Once upon a time doesn’t begin to touch the approach by which the evil queen wants her story told. It all begins with the love a King (Sean Bean) – a father, has for his motherless daughter. Growing up spoiled but loved in a happy kingdom, the young girl is groomed for her legacy. Instead of raising the child without the care of a mother, the king re-marries but turmoil enters his kingdom leading him to battle. He leaves his daughter in the care of a step-mother who assumes control as Queen (Julia Roberts) when the king is declared dead.
Ten years later, the princess Snow White (Lily Collins) is grown-up. Enraged that by keeping Snow in the castle as more a prisoner than future ruler still entitles her as the “fairest” of all title, the Queen begins to plot the demise of her unwanted step-daughter. This comes with a problem when the Queen also learns that she is broke leading to the ruination of kingdom.
Into this tangled web walks a young and handsome prince. Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) is wealthy beyond imagination but first the Queen must woo his affections away from the woman he believes most beautiful: Snow White.
FILM REVIEW | ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ (2012)Escape into the colorful world of Mirror Mirror, a delightful #fairytale re-telling of #SnowWhite! Julia Roberts and Lily Collins co-star. #Fairytale #FWarchives Click To Tweet
This was my Hunger Games of the year – so far. (I know, does that sound horrid?) Perhaps it’s a “poor trade-off” to most, but to me, it captured my attention from the start. Furthermore it transports me to a world I don’t wish to emerge from. Trailers were instrumental in letting potential viewers know just what kind of movie this would be, so if they’re a turn off, this isn’t for you. Everything about this script is tongue-in-cheek. It’s funny and witty, with pictures that will color anyone’s vivid imagination. There is wit even in the “slapstick” humor although at times, I will admit there is a niggling in the back of our mind that suggests the movie may have been better off from some more serious-minded humor. Nonetheless, with this movie, it never pretended to be anything but a sweet, family comedy.
Naturally, the costumes are gorgeous! The unique designs esh perfectly with the comedic scope of the production. There are long duster coats, brocade jackets, stunning gowns and of course, collapsible bustles. At times, it’s far-fetched, but the bright beauty is fascinating and keeps things interesting. It’s fun to see a screenplay take a Grimm legend and turn it into something different. There is romance, a poisonous red apple, true love’s kiss and yes, seven lovable bandit dwarfs (just try to tell me you don’t like Half-Pint), but everything familiar is suddenly “new.” Danger finds Snow but nothing is “dark” or threatening like we know this to sometimes be. Even Disney’s beloved animated flick is likely darker than this fable.
Perhaps I have a mistaken view of fairy-tale life or maybe I am just easy to please but if I had pick out something to be my ideal, Mirror Mirror defines it. Everything about this movie sparkles, provided the viewer knows the context of the film. Lily is sweet as sugar, charming and lovely in the role. She’s an actress, I anticipate see further her career (her turn in Abduction, and The Blind Side were impressive). The sweet “first kiss” scene captures exactly a princess character we can root for. Hammer is cute but sometimes too silly to be a dashing princely prospect. Veteran Julia Roberts creates a queen that we can despise, yes but also find amusement in. Her vanity became her true weakness while in this story, we experience Snow coming-of-age, finding out who she is in the process.
The pretty settings, costumes and (mostly) talented cast plus the bubbly and endearing end (one that lets us hear Lily’s vocal cords) makes this a sweet alternative most films. Knowing that this genre seems to be undergoing a “makeover” makes me curious because it is one that I love. Last year, there was a BATB re-telling, and now there’s a handful of storybook characters invading our television screens. Hopefully all this means is this genre is not going to disappear for a good long while.
CONTENT: PG for some mild swordplay and a creature that attempts to eat a girl. Some mild forms of magic come into play; including placing spells on unsuspecting victims, and a woman transforms into an old lady. Occasionally, mild innuendo pops up like the Queen remarking on Alcott’s state of undress [being without a shirt]; Snow references never having been kissed and is swatted on the behind during a fight.