Mirror, Mirror: a bad apple

Despite my better judgement, I watched Mirror, Mirror yesterday. I knew it wasn’t going to be a great film. I suspected it might not even be a good film… and I was right. But something I could never have foreseen was that this movie entertained me greatly. If this sounds like a paradox, I apologise, but that’s as close as I can get to an accurate description of this movie.

Apart from the name of the main character, this film had no similarities with Snow White and the Huntsman, in cinemas at the moment. Though Mirror, Mirror does turn out to be the lesser of the two flicks, it very much stays away from the dark subject matter that Huntsman delves into.

After a beautiful piece of animation in the opening sequence, Mirror, Mirror introduces us to The Queen (Julia Roberts), ruthless step-mother to her late husband’s daughter, Snow White (Lily Collins). The Queen keeps Snow locked in her room, excluded from all of the lavish parties paid for with ever increasing taxes from the kingdom she rules with an iron fist. One day, Snow escapes from the castle only to discover the poverty her kingdom has been reduced to. Enraged with a sense of duty, Snow vows to restore the land to its former glory.

This film is silly, comical, and endearing. It’s perfect for kids, but not so much that anyone older wouldn’t appreciate it. It’s also a very spectacular visual spectacle thanks to its director, Tarsem Singh, who is known for his unique visual flair.

While it’s no surprise that Roberts gleefully owns every scene she appears in, and seems to genuinely enjoy her role as the film’s comically “evil” Queen, the seven actors playing the dwarves are the film’s real treat. Rather than opting for an endless parade of tired jokes about their height (a la Snow White and the Huntsman, which didn’t even use real little people), Mirror, Mirror gives the audience a group of dwarves whose comedic moments come from witty dialogue and timing.

All in all, Mirror, Mirror is a surprisingly enjoyable film that modernises a classic fairytale. While it has its share of flaws – including the acting ability of Collins and the occasionally shaky story device – Mirror, Mirror is a better film than some critics would have you believe.

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