There is clearly a demand for Snow White adaptations as in 2012 we have not one but two different versions to choose from. First up is Tarsem Singh’s oddly titled Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures of Snow White.
PLOT: The Queen (Julia Roberts) is jealous of Snow White’s good looks and orders her loyal lackey Brighton (Nathan Lane) to take Snow out into the woods and kill her. Brighton cannot go through with the deed and tells Snow White to head into the forest to safety. Snow runs into seven dwarves who have been posing as giants in order to steal from travellers making their way through the forest. Before you can say montage Snow has been transformed from a pathetic damsel into an ass-kicking ninja. Snow and the dwarves set out to take back the kingdom and save Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) from the Queen’s evil spell. END PLOT
Everyone knows the story of Snow White and Mirror Mirror does not attempt to add anything fresh to the story telling. The plot does move on at a fairly rapid pace however some of the sections which were meant to be humorous such as the terribly ill conceived “puppy love” arc were bordering on embarrassing to watch.
Snow White is played by relative newcomer Lily Collins who does a solid job of showing the delicate nature of the character but she just doesn’t have much screen presence and gets overshadowed by some bigger performances.
Mirror Mirror opens with a voice over from The Queen telling us all that the film is about her and in this case she is right. Mirror Mirror is Julia Roberts’ film as she steals the show.
Roberts clearly graduated from the Kevin Costner “Shall I? Can I? Nah I wont bother” School of English Accents but once she gave up on attempting an accent she was great fun and appeared to be thoroughly enjoying herself playing the villain.
Armie Hammer fared a lot better than expected and he did bring a decent amount of charm to Prince Alcott.
The dwarves were all fine and perhaps younger viewers will enjoy their interesting brand of comedy more than I did.
Despite missing the mark in terms of story telling and humour the one thing Mirror Mirror got spot on was the set design and costumes. Tarsem Singh has an eye for fantasy and here it did not disappoint as he has created a visually stunning film. Mirror Mirror is probably worth a look purely for the visuals but that would be about it.
The truth is out of the two versions of Snow White I always knew that Mirror Mirror would be the one I liked the least. Mirror Mirror was geared towards a younger audience whereas Snow White and the Huntsman looks a bit more grown up.
Mirror Mirror is a fun film but this is one of those occasions were personal taste wins as I prefer my fairy tales with a bit more Grimm and a lot less Disney. It gets a 6/10.
If del Toro made it I would have been in cinematic heaven but alas it was not to be.