MIRROR MIRROR, another twist on Snow White’s story, is without a doubt one of the worst imaginings of the legendary fairy tale. With big budget names attached to this brightly colored film one would assume that this live action version would have a compelling or at the very least, good, storyline to attract the stars. Alas, MIRROR MIRROR falls short of being anything great.
In the opening sequence, The Queen’s narration lets us know that this tale will be from her point of view, it will be her story. I love this unique idea on showing what things looked like from The Queen’s point of view! Oh…wait. They forgot to keep with this idea and go back to a familiar tale of an unjustly treated princess, a town in ruin because of The Queen’s over spending/careless behavior and the standard supporting characters like a prince and seven dwarves. If only the storyline really would have followed The Queen! How much better could this quirky tale have been?
Kicking the story off on Snow White’s 18th birthday, the young princess (Lily Collins) slowly becomes brave, venturing outside the castle walls without permission from The Queen (Julia Roberts), crashing The Queen’s ball and flirting with the young valiant Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer). When The Queen catches Snow flirting with Alcott, she sentences the young maiden to death. At the hands of The Queen’s trusty bootlicker, Brighton (Nathan Lane), Snow White is set free in the dark forest as he fakes Snow’s death. Befriending the dwarves, Snow joins their gang and in a Robin Hood style of thievery, they steal from The Queen and return money to the poor. As you can see, not much comes from The Queen’s point of view… except whenever she was with/in the mirror talking to her reflection. But those moments made zero sense to me.
The thing that works in this film is the fantastic costuming and set design. With an amazing use of color and volume, the costumes might be my favorite part of this picture. They help establish the quirky kingdom and light whimsical mood that the filmmakers were aiming to achieve. In the ball sequence the costumes were simple yet unique and inventive. When we arrive to The Queen’s wedding day with Prince Alcott the funky colored period piece dresses and wigs kept things fun. Creating the two worlds of the castle and the forest were also remarkable and were better than the actual storyline.
Julia Robert’s as The Queen was fair. Not good, not bad, just… adequate. Very articulate and pronounced must have been her way to attempting to sound regal. I would have liked her to lose a bit of control and have more fun instead of ‘acting’ like she was having fun. Despite some of the dialogue and slow moments, I liked Lily Collins in her turn as Snow White. She helped make moments playful and youthful but she was not very captivating; I think she could have added more charm to the role. Armie Hammer’s performance as the puppy love sick Prince was quite entertaining to watch. He balanced the silly and the serious quite well and helped this film remain fresh. Of course, supporting characters like the dwarves, the baker, Margaret (Mare Winningham), or Brighton added life to the picture that could have been dull despite the bold colors throughout the costumes and sets.
If you are looking for a light Snow White flick to watch with your children that are under 13 years of age, then this might be a decent choice. But really, you could skip this live action version and watch Disney’s animated one instead.
Video ( 1.85:1): MIRROR MIRROR looks amazing on this Blu-ray. The bright colors and fun sets really pop off the screen.
Audio ( DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1): You can hear every Julia Roberts cackle crisp and clear. The ending musical number in MIRROR MIRROR sounds great.
Deleted Scenes (6:55): One alternate opening and four wisely cut moments from MIRROR MIRROR.
Looking Through The Mirror (12:58): In a typical format, the cast and crew praise Tarsem Singh as the greatest as we go through the costumes, set design, camera work and more.
I Believe I Can Dance (11:01): If you are in the mood to learn a random dance routine, then this feature is just right for you! With step by step instructions, choreographer, Paul Becker, walks you through the film’s ending scene.
Mirror, Mirror Storybook: This is a 28 page storybook format of MIRROR MIRROR, where you can read through the onscreen moments.
Prince and Puppies (1:59): This might be the best excuse to watch MIRROR MIRROR. This feature shows puppies watching Armie Hammer in his puppy love scene in the film and is narrated by a young kid. This feature even got my dog’s undivided attention.