Director: Tarsem Singh
“Ten years passed, and Snow White grew older and blossomed. But the kingdom fell into an icy despair, and the queen realized that if she wanted to remain the most beautiful woman in all the land… well… Snow would have to do what snow does best. Snow would have to fall.”
The Queen in Mirror Mirror
Mirror Mirror is a retelling of Snow White by the Brothers Grimm. After the King (Snow White’s father) doesn’t return from a war against a great evil that threatens the kingdom, Clementianna (Snow White’s stepmother) rules the kingdom by levying harsh taxes so she can live in luxury. Snow White dreams of seeing the kingdom but Clementianna has forbidden Snow White to leave the palace. Snow White sneaks out of the palace and is dismayed by how the kingdom has fallen into ruin. Snow White meets a Prince who Clementianna has decided will be her next husband because he is rich. Snow White and the Prince fall in love, angering Clementianna. Clementianna casts a love spell on the Prince and orders Snow White to be executed. She finds refuge in the home of seven dwarves. Will Snow White be able to overthrow the Queen and save the kingdom, or will the Queen kill Snow White?
Here is the movie trailer:
I saw the trailers for Snow White & the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror within a few days of each other. Out of the two movies, I thought that Snow White & the Huntsman was more my kind of movie because it seemed darker. Mirror Mirror seemed more light and comical, perhaps aimed at a younger target audience. That being said, after watching both movies, I prefer Mirror Mirror. It isn’t as dark as Snow White & the Huntsman, but the acting ability and script are both consistent throughout.
Although Mirror Mirror is an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm Snow White, many of the key plot points in Snow White are missing. For example, Snow White isn’t poisoned with an apple only to be woken by true loves kiss. Instead, Snow White breaks the love spell cast on the Prince with true loves kiss, reversing the traditional roles. At the end of the movie, when the evil Queen has aged almost beyond recognition and offers Snow White an apple, Snow White cuts a piece and offers it back to the Queen. I like the portrayal of Snow White as a strong female who can take care of herself. I really liked her fighting spirit and how she learns to fight, even if it means cheating. The scenes where Snow White learns how to fight are comical and the subsequent scenes where she actually fights against the Queen’s guards and the Beast are well-done. Snow White is almost more of a Robin Hood type character in Mirror Mirror, taking from the Queen to give back to the poor. I thought that Lilly Collins as Snow White worked really well. She conveyed the innocence as well as the fighting spirit of Snow White.
The seven dwarves were my favourite part of the movie. They really took centre stage in Mirror Mirror, unlike Snow White & the Huntsman. Although they aren’t exactly the dwarves from the Disney version—Doc, Happy, Sneezy, Bashful, Grumpy, Sleepy, and Dopey—I liked the new names and characters that were developed. There is Grimm, the leader of the dwarves, and the only dwarf who doesn’t want to let Snow White stay with them, at first. He reminds me a little of grumpy, actually. Then there is Butcher, Napoleon, Wolf, Half Pint (who crushes on Snow White), Grub (who is always eating), and my favourite, Chuckles. I think that each actor did a good job of bringing an individual quality to their character so that they stood out. For example, Wolf wore a wolf’s skin and howled at the sky. The timing was brilliant so this was often rather comical. I loved Chuckles. I don’t really know why other than I remember him chuckling in an infectious manner that made me love his scenes. A few of the actors didn’t do as well. I think they just weren’t given as much screen time to shine because they are all brilliant actors. Overall, I thought the dwarves really brought the movie alive.
Julie Roberts as the Queen was good. She got the regal and self-preservation side of the Queen, but she didn’t capture the evil side like Charlize Theron in Snow White & the Huntsman did. It did work within the movie because the tone was much lighter, but I would have liked a little more darkness to her character. All the Queen was really concerned about was living lavishly and remaining beautiful. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the magic that the Queen used. For example, at one point in the movie she accidentally used a literal puppy love potion (i.e., the Prince barked and ran around like a puppy).This was comical in places, but overall, I felt a little uncomfortable. Other than being a harsh queen because she taxes too much, I didn’t see why the towns’ people were scared of her. I didn’t see her do anything that made her seem evil. In fact, the towns’ people were frightened that the Queen would stop protecting them from the Beast. They didn’t know that she was responsible for creating the creature and controlling it. The magic that the Queen casts is clearly for a very young audience: puppy love potion, turning a servant into a cockroach (temporarily), creating the Beast, creating giant killer puppets, yet no one is actually ever hurt or dies in the movie.
I wasn’t that impressed with the Prince. I found him a little annoying and the scenes between Snow White and the Prince were a little soppy for my liking. I know that this is a fairy tale and a children’s movie, but still, I think more chemistry before the falling in love part would have been nice. Also, the scene where Snow White gets ready to have her first kiss was really excruciating. I cringed through the whole thing! I’ll fast forward through that scene in future. I think if they had just kissed rather than prepping Snow White with strawberry (and I mean and actual strawberry) lipstick. Sigh! I think maybe young children will like that scene, but perhaps not teenagers and older audience members.
The costumes were really well-done. The gowns for Snow White and the Queen were spectacular (see below). I also loved Snow White’s warrior outfit. It was totally different to the gowns, but still brilliant! I also think that the dwarves’ outfits really conveyed their characters as bandits.
However, I wasn’t that impressed with some of the effects in the movie. Some of the backgrounds stood out as being computer generated, particularly in the Queen’s bedroom. This wasn’t consistent because some of the long shots of the castle were beautiful. I just noticed that something was off in some of the scenes, which detracted from the believability. Also, I wasn’t impressed with the look of the Beast. It was just looked a little weird to me. What did you think?
Final Verdict: A funny adaptation of a classic tale that families will really enjoy.