Home > Movie Reviews, Snow White Series > Reflections on “Mirror, Mirror” Movie

Reflections on “Mirror, Mirror” Movie

(In January, I released a series on the origin and incarnations of Snow White.  Thus, I felt reasonably compelled to view and review one of the latest offerings).

You gotta love a movie where the hero keeps losing his pants.

Such is the case for the good, if slightly arrogant Prince Alcott in Tarsem Singh’s Mirror, Mirror.  The culprits?  Wily forest bandits who believe in “waste not, want not.” Worry not–this is the sort of fairy tale where the characters wear enough layers of underclothing to cover an elephant.

After the brutality of last weekend’s The Hunger Games, I was all too ready to have a laugh.  Mirror, Mirror definitely delivered.  It’s Snow White with a Princess Bride sensibility and a light touch of Bollywood.

Julia Roberts shines as the Evil Queen who is morbidly obsessed with maintaining a youthful appearance–her dry, cutting comments add great touches of humor, and belie her inner desperation to remain beautiful.  Lily Collins as Snow White at first seems to be a wilting, pasty flower next to the vibrant Roberts.  However, what seems to be a bland start is actually a great foundation to show her growth into maturity and confidence.  By the end, she is bold and wise enough to make a decision that turns into a great plot twist.   Armie Hammer as Prince Alcott is sufficiently handsome, well-spoken, and chivalrous enough to fulfill the duties of prince.  He isn’t asked to do much more than look chiseled in his under-drawers, have some decent chemistry with Snow White, and on occasion, lick someone’s hand (let’s just say love potions aren’t always reliable…).

<<SPOILER WARNING>>

One thing I was particularly pleased about was Snow White’s refreshing humility and limitations.  While it’s popular to have revamped fairy tales feature amped-up warrior maidens, I found it refreshing to see a young woman use her wits and natural grace.

Snow White wins over the dwarfs through her domestic abilities (since she’s friends with the cooks in her castle), and by helping them reconcile with the local townspeople who cast them out for being different.  Though she does win a flirtatious sword-fight with the prince, she does so through trickery, rather than besting him physically.  And when Snow White must face the evil monster that took her father’s life, she uses her empathy and compassion to see past its dark exterior–and makes a surprising discovery.

It was sweet to see a heroine whose journey to self-discovery involved more than just a couple of weapons and a “get-tough” attitude.  Moreover, Snow White’s beauty was a natural asset to her persuasive abilities, not the sum of them. (go here for more thoughts on holy beauty, unholy vanity)

<<END SPOILERS>>

Sufficed to say that Mirror, Mirror is a quirky, fun movie that offers a great alternative to people wanting a break from the bloodshed and heaviness of The Wrath of the Titans and The Hunger Games.  However, there are a few tiny cracks in this mirror.

One minor issue is that sometimes Mirror, Mirror pushes the silliness a bit too far.  There are a few throwaway gags that cater to strictly to the kiddo crowd–and fail, judging by the lack of reaction of the kids in the theater.

Another issue: one scene shows the extremes that the Evil Queen goes to keep her youth, featuring maggot therapy and other bizarre beauty treatments.  It’s a quickly-cut scene that might induce some revulsion.  However, that’s the point.  People go to crazy extremes for beauty.

Final Recommendation: go for it!  Mirror, Mirror is charming, sweet, and surprisingly clever.  The perfect bright pick-me-up on a cold, grey day.

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Taste of the Fantastical

So, which costume do you like the best?

  1. Marilyn Montlick
    April 1, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Great review! I saw Mirror, Mirror today and had a great time. This movie has something for kids and adults and is alot of fun. Your review really is right on. I just couldn’t stomache going to see the Hunger Games, but Mirror, Mirror is a movie I could see over and over again.

  2. April 1, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I didn’t know about this movie until now, SYD is so behind:(
    I’ve heard of the ‘Snow White’ one but this one seems more like a chick flick? Anyway, thanks for the review- I might check it out=D

    • April 21, 2012 at 3:49 am

      Definitely a chick flick–but there’s enough humor and irreverence to keep the guys decently entertained as well. The two fellows who came along to the showing both laughed and enjoyed it despite themselves.

  3. April 3, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Well written review – makes me want to see it, thanks Janeen!

  4. April 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Looks cute (though my husband refuses to see it with me). I wonder what the OTHER new snow white will be like (the one where snow white DOES turn into a warrior). It has Kirsten-what’s-her-face from Twilight, as Snow White (which I thought was a pretty funny choice for “the fairest in the land”) Ahem…end snarkiness.

  5. April 21, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Yeah, I talked my husband into it, and he ended up enjoying it, but he has a decent tolerance for these kinds of movies–and it really doesn’t take itself too seriously.
    On the other hand, he really wants to see “Snow White and the Huntsman” whereas I’m already rolling my eyes. The action scenes look decent, and the Evil Queen seems scary enough, but like you, I’m not buying Kristen Stewart as Snow White. Time will tell–and give me another excuse to blog!

  1. June 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm

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