Mirror Mirror – Film Review

Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer & Nathan Lane
Lily Collins in Mirror Mirror
Lily Collins in Mirror Mirror
Nathan Lane in Mirror MirrorNathan Lane in Mirror Mirror
Nathan Lane in Mirror Mirror
Julia Roberts & Lily Collins in Mirror Mirror
Julia Roberts & Lily Collins in Mirror Mirror

A recurring theme in 21st century cinema is that of remaking classic stories, or in the case of film, Mirror Mirror, reinvent. The classic tale of Snow White has had several incarnations, spanning generations with Walt Disney’s animated film, White as snowbeing the most remarkable version of this fairy tale. Mirror Mirrorstarring Julia Roberts, is a colorful and modern take on this classic story.

Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer & Nathan Lane

Mirror Mirror follows the established mythos of the character of Snow White (played in Mirror Mirror by Lily Collins) as a beautiful princess with skin as white as… yes, snow. Snow White’s mother dies during childbirth and her father, the king, takes another wife to provide Snow White with a maternal role model. However, the king’s new bride turns out to be the Evil Queen (played by Oscar winner Julia Roberts), a witch obsessed with power and beauty.

Lily Collins in Mirror Mirror
Lily Collins in Mirror Mirror

When the king goes missing on an expedition to the nearby forest, the queen takes over, effectively destroying the kingdom and sending it into perpetual cold. All the while, Snow White grew up a recluse in one of the palace towers. On her 18th birthday, implored by her servants, Snow White goes to see what has happened to her kingdom and decides to do everything to restore it to its former glory. To do so, Snow White enlists the help of visiting Prince Alcott (played by Armie Hammer), whom the Evil Queen has plans to marry, and the conflict and adventure of Mirror Mirror is working.

Nathan Lane in Mirror MirrorNathan Lane in Mirror Mirror
Nathan Lane in Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror retains the classic medieval-esque setting that audiences have become accustomed to with fairy tales. However, there is a contemporary twist in Mirror Mirror regarding the film’s dialogue. For example, Julia Roberts’ Evil Queen makes several jokes throughout Mirror Mirror on unfolding circumstances, which reflect modern views. Admittedly, this act becomes tiresome at one point in the film, but Mirror Mirror manages to rise above the cheesy twist that could easily happen to a movie like this.

Julia Roberts & Lily Collins in Mirror Mirror
Julia Roberts & Lily Collins in Mirror Mirror

An often underestimated aspect of a movie like Mirror Mirror is that of acting. Julia Roberts adds a nice touch of sarcastic impatience as the Evil Queen. Whereas in previous versions of the Snow White tale the Evil Queen was just a one-dimensional evil caricature, Julia Roberts’ portrayal adds a certain amount of wicked fun to her villainy. The other shows of Mirror Mirror manage to make the actors as a whole feel like they’re enjoying their roles, with solid work across the board. A particular performance in Mirror Mirror is Nathan Lane’s role as the Queen’s in-charge butler.

The classic “prince saves the princess” motif is reversed in Mirror Mirror with Snow White as the real heroine of this film, and Prince Alcott injected the story with comic relief. To bring the Snow White theme back to the audience, the Seven Dwarfs are an integral part of Mirror Mirror. However, instead of workers in a coal mine, these dwarves are exiles turned thieves. Considering their criminal actions, the Seven Dwarfs manage to deliver most of the best action scenes across Mirror Mirrorwhich were cleverly orchestrated (think stilts meet pogo sticks).

Despite Mirror Mirror dark and grainy take White as snowvisual aesthetics in Mirror Mirror is quite colorful. The Queen’s Palace, as well as the characters’ costumes, are bright and showy with great attention to detail, to illustrate the Evil Queen’s obsession with vanity.

In contrast, to further emphasize the great rift between the corrupt queen and her impoverished peasantry, the small town that Roberts’ queen rules over is dark and dreary. Like a takeoff on a fairy tale, Mirror Mirror circumvents any attempt at a complex or deep subplot, sticking to the whimsy that audiences expect from fairy tales. Mirror Mirror is a safe bet for children, but also a spectacle worthy of adults.

As with many fairy tales, there is an original, dark tale and a lighter, more child-friendly version. Mirror Mirror is closer to that of the original, darker story. Mirror Mirror manages to deliver a laugh while delivering a worthy take on the classic story of White as snow.

For those who don’t like the light pleasure that Mirror Mirror provides, don’t worry. ‘Cause like Hollywood always does it all together, the darker, more action-oriented Snow White and the Hunter will be released later in the year. For everyone else, Mirror Mirror may not be the prettiest of them all, but it is an entertaining ride.

“Mirror Mirror” with Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Sean Bean and Nathan Lane Rated R. Duration 106 min. Theatrical release on 03/30/2012.
PR.com Rating: B-