Note: So many movies, so little time. Due to conflicting schedule issues, I was unable to attend the Mirror Mirror screening. Friend of The ‘Stache, Patrik Korda was kind enough to cover the movie for us. Enjoy his views.
Mirror Mirror is the first of two release this year that attempts to bring a two-hundred year old fairy tale back to life. The story is essentially the same from beginning to end with a few unique twists and turns in between. There’s a wicked Queen (Julia Roberts) who uses a magical mirror to solidify her sovereignty. There’s Snow White (Lily Collins) who’s a seemingly helpless and oppressed princess. The charming prince (Armie Hammer), and seven dwarves. Even the poisoned apple is in the mix. The movie does have subtle differences which it desperately goes out of its way to point out, as if the targeted viewer was an adolescent who recently saw a previous version.
The script is well written and up to date, providing witty jokes and generating laughs wherever appropriate. The most impressive thing about this movie is the music/audio, which sets the emotional tone perfectly for each scene. The aesthetics are fine in terms of costume, set, special effects, and actors. The storyline, although taking several deviations from the original, is also quite good. While there are numerous things that simply do not make sense and/or go unexplained, this can be said about any other previous Snow White (it is a magical fairy tale after all). Julia Roberts does an excellent job of convincing the viewer she is a sociopathic megalomaniac, people have gotten used to seeing her in such a positive light. Moreover, Nathan Lane plays an entertaining and reluctant panderer to her power.
The movie is missing one essential aspect of what makes Snow White, Snow White: getting the viewer to feel sorry and emotionally attached to her. This is partly due to the story not sufficiently establishing how oppressed and innocent the princess is. As the movie progresses, there are glimpses of when Lily Collins does give off a genuine Snow White aura. When she cleans up the dwelling of the dwarves, cooks, and puts her foot down about their livelihood, one really gets the original feeling of what the ideal German girl was expected to be like two centuries ago. On the other hand, Lily Collins just seems empty most of the time; as if being emotionless throughout most of the lines is considered acting. The prince is also lacking in this movie, not because Armie Hammer is a bad actor, but because he’s put into the back seat. His rhetoric is chivalrous in a humorous way, but he is made to be a lapdog, at times quite literally.
Overall, this movie is a sufficient facelift for an old tale. Unfortunately, one gets the impression that the script was tailor-made for Julia Roberts because she was the clear heavyweight, and taking the Queens’ perspective seems like a justification for originality. Moreover, the film seems like it was all shot on a set much like 300. The difference being that in 300 it seemed somewhat cool and original. It’s entertaining in the end, but begs too many questions be asked.
Rating: 3 and a half out of 5 Korda ‘Staches