Tarsem Singh returns after his GOD AWFUL interpretation of Greek Mythology with the Immortals and to say I was worried about Mirror Mirror was an understatement but it turns out that Tarsem’s ‘unique’ view of the world is more suited to the retelling of fairy tales than that of Greek mythology.
Mirror Mirror is the grand re-imagining of the tale of Snow White, the young girl who was so fair of face and heart that a Wicked queen wanted her dead so that she may remain the fairest in all the land. Age gets the best of all of us eventually but this queen isn’t going down without a fight; after all someone once said “Eternal Youth is worth a little suffering”.
Before we begin, fairy tales as a rule are timeless… the ones with the happy endings that is; every fairytale has a dark beginning. In the original tales Sleeping Beauty was a comatose rape victim, Cinderella ended up killing her wicked step mother and I’m not sure how the Snow White tale went when it was first created but I do know that I prefer the version with the happy ending.
Here this stylistic revamp of Snow White see’s the young girl turn the lives of seven dwarfs upside down and begins to lead them on a freedom fighter-esque mission to save the people from the clutches of the queen. Her father's legacy has been shattered by gorging the people with taxes so that the queen can play games and throw expensive parties.
There’s one elephant in the room however, which really prevented me from truly falling in love with Mirror Mirror and that was some of the character styling undergone by Snow White…. I don’t know whether Tarsem Singh likes his women hairy BUT for some reason he chose to put these HUGE caterpillar like eye brows on Lily Collins who plays Snow White and they’re just SO distracting that it makes it hard to concentrate on the fairytale as it unfolds and there’s a lot to fall in love with in Mirror Mirror but those damn eyebrows. I was concerned for the safety of Collins when Snow had a scene where she talks to a little birdy; I’ve seen The Birds! Bird attacks can be brutal and it would be sad if that little extra were to confuse Snow White’s eye brows with a juicy slug or something equally as appetising.
This little fairytale isn’t for the younglings either, it’s more suited to ten years and up as the film is full to the brim with sexual innuendo, grass hopper rape and Julia Roberts being thoroughly evil. That of course won’t ring true with the younger generation but the image of a grown man licking a woman’s hand probably will, mind you, who wouldn’t want to lick Julia Roberts?
In Mirror Mirror Roberts is every bit the Queen, she rules the screen in this film and she commands that people watch her closely; something the trailer failed to convey… this performance is an all out look at evil that dares to be beautiful. Her chats with the mirror are entertaining and the throw away wit of the queen is delivered to perfection as her devil may care attitude takes hold. This is Roberts at her best and totally makes Mirror Mirror a must see for fans of her work.
…Those damn eye brows…
It’s clear to see that without Roberts, Mirror Mirror would be very much dead in the water. The script may ooze wit and innuendo but it’s the performances that bring everything to life and never has a truer word been spoken about the leads and supporting cast in Mirror Mirror.
The dwarfs have been renamed and are as funny as ever but the inclusion of an overtly perverted and highly sexed dwarf would probably be more at home in a show like Criminal Minds than he would in a fairytale. Armie Hammer plays the Prince who is everything he should be, charming, handsome, rich… everything except the hero that every woman supposedly wants; everyone except Snow White who doesn’t need saving by any man!
Lilly Collins puts in…. those damn eye brows!!! She's good though but the eye brows!
Mirror Mirror does give Tarsem Singh a touch more credibility as a director, his vision was fresh and new but happy endings are something we all love and his happy ending came with a tinge of vengeance that overshadowed the happy occasion being celebrated and then came the part that annoyed me even more than those damn eye brows… A Bollywood-esque song performed by Snow White as a finale… it felt totally out of place when it came to the film itself and knowing Tarsem he has to balls up royally at least once during his direction of a film and this was it! A cultural shovel was thrown at the audience and it wasn’t needed.
Mirror Mirror weaves a wonderful spell over the audience evoking laughs, shock and more laughs to boot; from the utterly stunning performance from Julia Roberts to the ‘giant’ antics of the dwarfs, Mirror Mirror offers a lot to its viewers and although flawed in places it allows the A.D.D induced antics of kids today to be enthralled by pretty colours and at least one happy ending in 2012!
The audio and picture on this disk are top notch. I felt that the AVC 1080p transfer was a touch darker than it should have been but due to the amount of yellows, blues, reds, whites and other flashy designs on screen it really didn't matter. The transfer brings scenes to life, these marvellous set pieces and costumes are truly inspired and thanks to high definition they now have depth and clarity, bringing this kingdom to life.
The audio is a top not DTS transfer that although lacking in power from the front soundstage brings effects and score to life in an audible feast that snakes its way from one speaker to the next. Brilliant!
Special features are geared towards kids. Tarsem takes centre stage in the Making Of Mirror Mirror but thankfully it also gives a lot of time to his set and costume designers who are real stars in Mirror Mirror. We also have a bunch of kid orientated features, one teaching folks that AWFUL Bollywood routine at the end and another dog orientated sequence where cute little puppies comment on the scene where the prince gets a dose of puppy love, it was soooo cute.
The one thing I didn't get was the storybook which should have been a piece of downloadable content for PC's or tablets! :) It seems wasted on the disk when it should really be an interactive element for kids to take away.