By Kenna Trent
Look out vampires, the world has a new obsession: Fairytales.
Between the slew of television shows touting fairytale story lines and the announcement of two separate Snow White projects for this year, it is clear we have found our new fad.
Leading off in the battle of the Snow White films is Tarsem Singh’s Mirror, Mirror, a much more bubble gum-pop approach to the dark story.
Lily Collins stars as the title character, a young princess locked away by her evil stepmother queen (Julia Roberts). That is until Snow White decides to pay a visit to the town where people used to sing and dance. She finds the once happy town is now destitute from the constant collection of taxes used to support the queen’s lavish lifestyle. Determined to set her straight, Snow confronts the queen about robbing the people.
However, the queens jealousy and anger for Snow is too much and she sends her off to the woods to be killed by her “chief boot-licker.” Unable to kill Snow in cold blood, the queen’s man (Nathan Lane) lets her go into the dark forest. There, Snow stumbles upon a cottage filled with seven thieving dwarves. Together, Snow White and the dwarves hatch a plan to steal the people’s money back and return Snow to her rightful position as ruler.
Director Tarsem Singh, while not prolific in his work, certainly takes a lot of care. The vision of the film was bright, lively and unique. It was very Tim Burton-esque, without the creepiness. Perhaps a little too computer animated for my taste, but interesting nonetheless.
I wasn’t convinced about Julia Roberts as an evil queen until about halfway through the movie. Putting aside her usual “every woman” persona to take on a larger-than-life character ended up winning me over.
Why? Because she is a great actress.
Lily Collins was also a nice surprise as Snow White. Powerful and cute at the same time, she was the personification of the character. And those eyebrows rival Anthony Davis’.
While the women were wonderful, the supporting men were just as magnificent. Nathan Lane’s broadway-style comedy and general class were a nice touch to his role and Armie Hammer’s winning smile and perfect timing made him a great prince charming.
Not to mention the dwarves. While they weren’t the same aptly named mine workers from the Disney classic, they gave a clear personality to their roles that added heart and comic relief to the story.
The basic elements for a great movie are all there, but the big question is: does it play out? My answer: Yes!
If you’re shocked, let me say, so was I.
My roommate and I were the only people in the theater watching Mirror, Mirror on an otherwise busy Friday night, which didn’t really give much hope that this was going to be a great movie. But I was pleasantly surprised. I laughed the whole way through. The story wasn’t taken extremely seriously, leaving room for plenty of jokes and gags that worked. And despite how it appeared in previews, the movie wasn’t too cutesy or girl oriented.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some times when things didn’t work for the movie and I don’t think everyone is going to enjoy this style of storytelling, but I highly recommend that you give Mirror, Mirror a chance instead of going to see The Hunger Games again, because I know you were thinking about it.