One of the most beloved fictional characters of all time is back on the big screen, and in Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror, the princess with the ebony hair and blood red lips is more than just a helpless victim.
Snow White appears to be everywhere in pop culture these days. Mirror Mirror was released this month and Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman is coming out in June. I should mention that the ongoing TV series “Once Upon a Time” also draws heavily from the tale of Snow White among other fairytales.
Mirror Mirror is a bold retelling of the old tale with a feminist makeover. The story starts like this: a fair princess is born at the cost of her mother’s death and is named Snow White. But soon the King, a kind ruler, dies mysteriously, leaving her at the mercy of her evil stepmother. If you’re wondering what makes this story different from other versions, you’ll have to watch the film because I don’t want to give away the little innovation in the plot. All I can say is that Mr Singh’s Snow is more of a rebel against the tyrant of a stepmother than the fairy tale version.
As far as the performances are concerned, Lilly Collins is surprisingly quite good as Snow and Nathan Lane gives the best performance of the film as Brighton, the woodcutter charged with the task of killing Snow White. On the other hand Julia Roberts’ performance has been derided by critics and she fails to do justice to the role of the evil queen. And while Armie Hammer makes the most charming prince you can imagine, his character is rather dull and there is not much room for acting.
Things do drag a little in the second half and I found the ending rather abrupt and disappointing. But overall, Mirror Mirror offers children-friendly humour and a storyline that, despite its lack of coherence, has many interesting bits and pieces: it keeps the laughs coming and is fairly decent entertainment.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, April 15th, 2012.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ