I finally get around to seeing 2012’s first Snow White offering, though the result is somewhere between fun and lukewarm.
Directed by Tarsem (once again he returns to Cinema Cocoa since I started this blog!) creator of The Cell, The Fall and recently Immortals, Mirror Mirror is definitely his first family film, throwing a ton of quirkiness and light-hearted humour into the classic fairy tale.
Need I explain the plot? Well, here the evil Queen has the land taxed into despair, and when the shut-in Snow White escapes to find her late father’s land so impoverished she opts to take back the kingdom. With help of seven dwarf bandits and a Prince who has both the Queen’s and Snow White’s affections.
Tarsem’s signature costume design is present, there are many occasions for flamboyant dresses and head pieces, full and vibrant colours, as well as some nicely designed interiors. Lily Collins makes an excellent Snow White, even though the film never gives her the chance to set up as a “bandit leader”.
Julia Roberts as the evil Queen? Well… she isn’t so much evil as she is bitchy. She wants things her way, but doesn’t actively pursue them herself, making her out as a spoilt brat than anything menacing.
A personal dislike of mine is the total disregard of the apple, it is barely in the film! The Queen resorts to attacking Snow White with monsters instead. While the light-heartedness was often genuine, and the dwarves were good fun, the film felt a little sluggish. It becomes clear that it merely parries from forest setting, to palace, forest, palace, forest, palace, forest.. Etc. It feels quite pantomime.
It is one for the family, for the kids (which is saying something for Tarsem and his filmography!) it is innocent and light. Will I prefer Snow White and the Huntsman? That depends on one factor alone… whether Kirsten Stewart is bearable or not…