‘Mirror Mirror’ Movie Review – You Are Not The Fairest of Them All
The first of the two Snow White movies to be released this year, Mirror Mirror directed by Tarsem Singh hits theaters today and I wish I could say that it’s a big success, but unfortunately, the film falls short of what the retelling could have been.
The movie is of course based on the famous fairy tale of Snow White, but puts a spin on it by having Snow White (Lily Collins) be a strong female lead who rebels against the Queen (Julia Roberts) aided by the seven dwarves. She also tries to win her Prince (Armie Hammer) over who seems to be have been enchanted by the Queen. Oh and did I mention it’s a comedy?
So I’m a big fan of Tarsem Singh’s films and especially his beautiful cinematography and use of colors (I recently talked about this in my Immortals Blu-ray review) and I am happy to say that Singh brings that to Mirror Mirror, which makes the film visually pleasing. However, his talent cannot overcome the lackluster storyline.
I think the biggest problem I had with the story was that it felt like some of the changes from the original fairy tale were made just to bring a twist, but didn’t bring anything more to the story. For instance, the dwarves used to have jobs in town but ended up being cast out by the queen. However, this isn’t really explored more than them mentioning what they used to do.
In addition, for a movie called Mirror Mirror, the actual mirror wasn’t too exciting. Actually I’m still not sure what was so great about it. It seemed a bit weak, especially in one scene including puppets.
The comedy also isn’t quite as crisp as it could have been. While there are quite a few good comedic moments, the rest just falls flat which is really too bad because I rather enjoyed a scene between two of the Queen’s guard debating whether Snow White was allowed to leave the castle. I wish there had been more moments like this throughout.
As for the performances, well I have to say the highlight for me was Armie Hammer, whom you might recognize from The Social Network. He had some of the best and funniest moments in the film. His puppy love towards the Queen was pretty hilarious. I also rather enjoyed Nathan Lane who plays the hapless servant to the Queen, he has some great moments. Snow White herself, Lily Collins is also pretty good, I think what I liked about her is that she really fit what I pictured Snow White to be and look like, which is a success for the film. Finally (and regrettably), as much as I love Julia Roberts, she didn’t shine as the Queen. She had some good moments, but overall not the best part I’ve ever seen her in.
On the other hand, as much I have legitimate gripes with this movie, it wasn’t horrible. Actually it had a lot of good moments and I mostly enjoyed myself. Unfortunately, with the trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman (the other Snow White film to be released June 1st) looking so absolutely stunning and gritty, you cannot help but compare it to Mirror Mirror. Of course I haven’t seen Snow White and the Huntsman yet, but just from the trailer it seems that they are really taking the story to another level, which Mirror Mirror failed to do with its own re-imagining.
In conclusion, it was mostly disappointment because of my high hopes for the movie that left me feeling like meh by the end of it. So if you have kids, Mirror Mirror might be a great choice for this weekend, and if you are looking for mindless entertainment and a film full of beautiful costumes and colors, then this might be for you as well. But if you’re looking for a novel and original retelling of Snow White, you might have to wait until June 1st for that one or you can always tune in to ABC’s Once Upon a Time, which airs on Sundays at 8pm.