30 March 2012
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
“Mirror mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of them all?” Most children recognize this as the opening lines from Snow White, the German story from the Brothers Grimm about a beautiful princess, her evil stepmother, and a motley crew of seven chivalrous dwarves who aid her in finding true love. Whether this has been a wonderful bedtime story, or simply the 1937 animated Disney production, we know this story very well. On the other hand, it has not made many successful live-action adaptations perhaps until now. Relativity Media, along with Director Tarsem Singh (The Cell, Immortals) and Producer Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Tower Heist) give the story 21st Century humor in “Mirror Mirror”
We open on the Queen, appropriately played by Oscar-winner Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, Larry Crowne). This is the Queen’s story, she wants you to know that. Her real name is Clementianna, but we’ll just go with Queen. Anyway, she married the single-dad King who had a daughter: Snow White. One day King went into the distant forests on his own and never returned, leaving Queen to raise the young Snow. Ten years go by and the Queen is doing well for herself, in charge of an entire kingdom and her only perceived rival is the black-haired stepdaughter. While the Queen is condescending, disdainful, and just plain mean to her, the kitchen staff adore Snow White. However, they say that the people in town are in terrible shape due to taxes and poverty, to which she decides to take a trip out into the real world.
Meanwhile we have a young, handsome, even gorgeous Prince Andrew Alcott, but we’ll go with Prince. He is played by Armie Hammer (The Social Network, The Lone Ranger), wants to meet with the Queen in response to the country’s crippling financial difficulty. On the way, he is assaulted by seven men on stilts, who turn out to be little dwarf highway robbers. They attack him, string him up with his servant, and steal his possessions including his clothes. Snow White finds him, releases him from bondage, and he thanks her but must push on to the castle. Upon meeting the Queen with no shirt on (gasp!), and she being very attracted to his perfect beefcake, she invites him to stay for a while and secretly wants to seduce the young, rich, beautiful man. Along the way, all of these characters will meet again and come up with a plan to put the Queen in her place and save the kingdom.
Director Singh has made a wonderful movie here for girls. The old legend is given modern sarcasm and goofy jokes in a PG rated setting, though for any boys watching there is still the old swashbuckling rapiers to duel with. Add in a helping of magic monsters, a funny Nathan Lane (The Birdcage, The Producers) as a feeble personal assistant to the Queen, and seven endearing dwarves (played by real-life little people) who all fall for Snow White as much as we do. This all comes to be a very good looking girls’ sleepover movie.
“Mirror Mirror” isn’t really a great film, in fact it’s a little shallow, but there is entertainment to spare in this attractive popcorn movie. As a side note, Universal Studios is also making a Snow White adaptation with a much darker tone.