You know instantly that your cinematic adaptation of a classic fairy tale has failed when the first, and possibly biggest error can be detected before seeing even a second of the actual film. The error in this case is that The Evil Queen (Julia Roberts) looks better than Snow White (Lily Collins), which I assumed everyone knew was the opposite in Snow White & The Seven Dwarves. But I suppose this depends on the viewer.
Mirror Mirror is the story of Snow White as told by good ol’ Tarsem Singh and I can’t really say whether it’s for the better or worse that it resembles a romantic comedy with action spliced in more than it resembles something like The Cell.
Need I mention the story? We all know how it involves an Evil Queen – like in the original tale, the character from Mirror Mirror lacks an actual name – and how her mirror tells her that she isn’t the fairest of them all any longer, for the much more beautiful Snow White has been born. Once Snow White has blossomed into fair young woman, The Queen, filled with envy, commands one of her servants (Nathan Lane) to bring Snow White to the woods and stab her dead. The servant, however, is too kind to perform the murder and lets her run off.
Of course, she ends up in the home of seven dwarves. Or maybe it was more than seven in this version? All I know for certian is that they aren’t named Happy, Doc, Bashful, Grumpy or anything like that. Also, it wouldn’t be a Snow White-film if there wasn’t a charming prince – the one in this film is played by Armie Hammer, in fact – and it certainly wouldn’t be a modern, more comedic re-telling of a Snow White-film if the prince wasn’t showing off his muscular frame enough times to fully enthrall the tweens in the theater.
I’m not saying I think Lily Collins looks bad. It’s just that I find nothing extraordinarily beautiful about her and casting her in a film where an actress famous for her beauty, Roberts, is supposed to play the one of inferior fairness, that becomes a bit strange. Let’s face it, most who attend this film will most likely attend it to see Roberts. However, this little nitpick, which I suppose you can call it, did not bother me as much as other things in the film; I’ll assure you that.
As already mentioned, this isn’t a fully serious film but rather sort of a romantic comedy which for some reason stars characters from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Much of what is intended as humour comes from the snarky dialogue of The Evil Queen, who sadly sounds about as funny as a talk show host trying to do improv. If you think the dwarves will be anything like the ones in the Disney-version, you’d be incorrect. They look and (more importantly) act much more alike and rely on dumber humour this time around, in order to please modern audiences, I imagine. Speaking of pleasing modern audiences, why do you believe Armie Hammer appears so frequently without his shirt?
Strange interpretations of classic characters aside, there isn’t much that is disturbingly stupid in Mirror Mirror, unlike, say, Red Riding Hood. The visuals and costumes are something that was actually cool, one must admit, but other than that, there isn’t really much to cheer for. Is it funny? Again, not especially. Is it a clever re-telling overall? I wouldn’t say? Is the acting spectacular? Lane and Roberts are good but nothing special. Really, I was simply bored by this film, even if it was occasionally pretty to look at.
Will someone think that telling the story of Snow White using this method is a great idea? Difficult to imagine. It is not even remotely a serious adaptation, but it isn’t a parody either, nor is it laughable fanfiction like that one Alice in Wonderland film. All in all, Mirror Mirror is a confused, unfunny snore-fest and I’d in all likelihood skip it if I were you.
Even sitting here writing about it makes me want to go take a nap. Oh dear.