Blu-ray Review Mirror Mirror
Directed by: Tarsem Singh Cast: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane Running Time: 1 hr 46 mins Rating: PG Due Out: June 26, 2012
PLOT: After the King failed to return from battle, the evil Queen (Roberts) took control of the kingdom. Ten years later, the King’s daughter, Snow White (Collins), is turning 18 and the Queen decides it’s time to be rid of her. With the help of a prince (Hammer) and seven dwarfs, Snow White tries to take down the Queen and restore the kingdom to its former glory.
WHO'S IT FOR? There is stuff here that could appeal to all ages, but the silly tone might be off-putting to some. Still, between the fairy tale origins, glorious craft work, and some fun action and comedy, Mirror Mirror is worth watching.
Tarsem is among the finest visual directors currently working, so I get excited whenever he has a new film on the horizon. Unfortunately, shockingly bad trailers sapped any and all interest I had in Mirror Mirror. I feared the worst when I sat down to watch, but within moments a beautiful animated sequence came on screen and I felt my fears fading away. It’s not without a few issues — story isn’t its strong suit, the pacing is a bit off (things slow down quite a bit when Snow White first meets the dwarfs), and the juvenile sound effects are grating — but overall I was won over by this visually appealing, whimsical world.
Like The Cell, The Fall, and Immortals before it, this film shines in the visual department. There are very few frames that I’d describe as anything less than “gorgeous,” especially the nighttime shots looking out of the Queen’s chambers. There’s also excellent work when it comes to the production design and visual effects. The thing I’ll remember most, however, is the achievement by the late costume designer Eiko Ishioka. I love Snow White’s garb (Snow trying on potential bandit outfits is a lot of fun), and the big party scene provides a great showcase for Ishioka. The swan, rabbit, and turtle costumes worn by Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, and Michael Lerner, respectively, add to the fairy tale feel. And that’s my biggest takeaway. Many fairy tale reimaginings go darker, but Mirror Mirror takes things in the opposite direction and manages to create something that has a genuine sense of magic and wonder.
Julia Roberts is having a ball playing the evil Queen. She has a number of humorous line readings, my favorite being “must… look… glorious!” Collins makes for a beautiful, very likeable Snow White who is more than capable of handling herself under any circumstances. Hammer, who already possesses the charm and good looks of a prince, is quite good too (though I did feel bad for him during the excruciating first scene in which his Prince Alcott is under the Queen’s puppy love potion).
This isn’t something I’ll look back on as one of the notable films of the decade (other than for being Eiko Ishioka’s final film), but it’s very charming nonetheless. When the Bollywood number started playing during the end credits I was smiling ear to ear, and even though it’s not perfect, Mirror Mirror is one of 2012’s most pleasant surprises.
MOVIE SCORE: 8/10
Deleted Scenes Looking Through the Mirror I Believe I Can Dance Mirror Mirror Storybook Prince and Puppies Theatrical Trailer Sneak Peek