Mirror Mirror (2012)

Mirror Mirror
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Mild themes and violence

Director: Tarsem Singh
Actors: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Sean Bean, Nathan Lane, Mare Winningham, Michael Lerner, Ronald Lee Clark, Robert Emms, Martin Klebba, Mark Povinelli, Jordan Prentice, Sebastian Saraceno, Danny Woodburn

An evil queen steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 100mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
Single white fairy tale
by Simon Miraudo,

Keeping up with shifts in the pop cultural consciousness is a full-time job, and I don't envy the devoted parents who must struggle to stay abreast of what their children might be 'into' at any one time. Just when it seemed that tweenagers had collectively agreed to obsess about vampires and werewolves and sexting, along comes another fad to preoccupy them. And strangely, this one comes from an even older source of literary inspiration than those bloodsuckers and shapeshifters: fairy tales. At least mums and dads already know these stories, and won't have to furiously Wikipedia the plot synopses merely so they can make heads or tails of whatever it is their daughter is going on about. Two television shows have recently begun inspired by the brothers' Grimm (the aptly titled Grimm and Once...

Keeping up with shifts in the pop cultural consciousness is a full-time job, and I don't envy the devoted parents who must struggle to stay abreast of what their children might be 'into' at any one time. Just when it seemed that tweenagers had collectively agreed to obsess about vampires and werewolves and sexting, along comes another fad to preoccupy them. And strangely, this one comes from an even older source of literary inspiration than those bloodsuckers and shapeshifters: fairy tales. At least mums and dads already know these stories, and won't have to furiously Wikipedia the plot synopses merely so they can make heads or tails of whatever it is their daughter is going on about.

Two television shows have recently begun inspired by the brothers' Grimm (the aptly titled Grimm and Once Upon a Time), and this year alone we are being treated to two vastly different takes on the Snow White saga. At this stage it's hard to know if the trend is an organic one, evolved from audience desire, or if it's being orchestrated by Hollywood types hoping to take advantage of pre-established brands and cheap, "public domain" properties. Though I suspect the latter is actually the case, the first Snow White feature out of the gate, Mirror Mirror, is a sweet, uncynical retelling of the beloved legend. Due to its lack of edge, the picture is unlikely to become a craze amongst the older Twilight set. Still, the littlies should gobble it up, thanks to the expectedly cartoonish and nutso vision of director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (he keeps adding a name to his credit with every movie, but he'll always be simply 'Tarsem' to us).

Lily Collins - for whom the constant compliment of being 'fairest of them all' can scarcely convey her effulgent qualities on screen - stars as Snow. This plot is so deeply ingrained in our psyche it really doesn't require summarising, but please indulge me in my reviewerly duty. Princess White has been kept out of the kingdom's sight by her evil stepmother, Queen Clementianna (Julia Roberts), for most of her developmental years; trapped in her bedroom, she's slowly blossomed into the most beautiful young lady in all the land. Snow catches the eye of the wandering Prince Andrew (a frequently shirtless Armie Hammer), who has taken residence in her castle after being attacked by a septet of vicious, tiny thieves. The evil monarch wants Andrew all to herself however; his nation is bountiful (that's not meant as a double entendre), and a marriage to him could help save her own from destitution, provided there's not a nasty pre-nup. Jealous Clementianna instructs her long-suffering footman Brighton (Nathan Lane) to cast out her wretched, porcelain-skinned step-daughter and leave her to die in the wilderness. She's made of tougher stuff than they could have imagined. Snow teams up with the seven criminal dwarves (Ronald Lee Clark, Robert Emms, Martin Klebba, Mark Povinelli, Jordan Prentice, Sebastian Saraceno, and Danny Woodburn), and, struck with a jolt of Occupy-esque rebellion, plots to end the Queen's cruel taxation methods, restore her land to greatness, and, of course, rescue a 'puppy-love' potion induced Andrew from Clem's clutches.

Not all of the elements mesh. There must have been some miscommunication during the meeting when the actors agreed on which accent they'd be employing. The humour occasionally veers jarringly from appealing exclusively to toddlers and then exclusively to their parents (although, I will forgive the occasionally anachronistic jibes, which aren't nearly as annoying here as they are in the Shreks). And screenwriters Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller miss a trick by not having the entire tale relayed from the Queen's deliciously warped lens, as in the opening sequence. Mirror Mirror remains a pleasant kids' film nonetheless.

Tarsem's 2006 masterpiece The Fall is as close to a newly-devised fairy tale any director has made this century, and it is strange, sumptuous, and absolutely splendiferous; famously realised with little-to-no CGI. The special-effects heavy Mirror Mirror can't compare, but the art direction, costume design, and astounding attention to detail does give significant weight to his oddball world. It's also sold wholeheartedly by the unflinching and energetic cast. Armie Hammer convinces as the charming Prince, yet is unafraid to play the fool. The cast of bandit dwarves are also a lot of fun, and, mercifully, their size is not leaned on as a comic crutch so much as their disparate personalities are. Only Julia Roberts is unable to totally distance herself from 'Julia Roberts', but that may be part of the joke. She seems to be having a good time playing the baddie, and she has a nice rapport with Lane, so it's certainly no slog to spend time with them.

As of this writing, it's unknown if viewers will flock to Mirror Mirror; whether they'll bide their time until Rupert Sanders edgier Snow White and the Huntsman instead, starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron as Snow and the Queen respectively; whether their success or failure will influence the release of all those other proposed fairy tale reboots (including, would you believe it, another Snow White flick with Saoirse Ronan); whether everyone will soon be buying YA novels about a sex starved modern Beauty and her efforts to tame the wild-but-secretly-sensitive Beast (actually, that sounds really familiar). All I know is that Mirror Mirror ends with a Bollywood-infused musical number, and, based on all that has come before, its presence makes perfect sense. Be thankful under-10s can still be catered to in the impending age of the "gritty" fairy tale, and that a wonderfully unique filmmaker like Tarsem is in charge of rousing their imagination.

3.5/5

Check out Simon's other reviews here.

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Member Reviews (67)

Ronnie
says
Love this movie. Amazingly detailed costumes, and the whimsical sets makes me feel like I'm watching a play. Lily Collins is stunning and makes a lovable princess. Julia Roberts is good and with Nathan Lane - quite amusing. Prince Charming plays it well and with humour. But most of all the kids and I love the 7 dwarves. The singing at the end is a bit out of place, but its forgivable. I think this movie is set to become a classic family favourite.
Posted Saturday, 20 September 2014 See my other reviews
My 10 year old daughter loved it.
Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 See my other reviews
ljt
says
absolutely marvellous movie. Brilliantly different, very funny and the costumes are a WOW! Cracking cast and excellent performances.
Posted Tuesday, 28 January 2014 See my other reviews
Pamela
says
Mildly amusing, but somehow just not quite hitting the mark.
Posted Monday, 18 November 2013 See my other reviews
I enjoyed this, though a bit weird how julia roberts visits her mirror.
Posted Saturday, 21 September 2013 See my other reviews
Jumbuck
says
The original Disney cartoon was so much better
Posted Monday, 16 September 2013 See my other reviews
Quite ordinary with some ham acting, although not un-watchable. Some funny scenes if you are not too judgemental
Posted Tuesday, 3 September 2013 See my other reviews
Not very impressed.
Posted Sunday, 1 September 2013 See my other reviews
when has america had a queen or a kingdom
Posted Sunday, 25 August 2013 See my other reviews
Beejay
says
Strange movie, and you can't quite put your finger on it until the end and then it hits you: it's Bollywood for Hollywood! The costuming, as Malika said, is fantastic and Ms Collins is stunning, like a newly arrived Elizabeth Taylor, but I think some of it is too scary for little kids and just too stupid for big ones.
Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2013 See my other reviews
Malika
says
An interesting take on an old classic. The costumes are amazing! But that song at the end is just weird!
Posted Wednesday, 24 July 2013 See my other reviews
Kazza
says
Well different, but OK for a rainy day movie, older family kids too
Posted Friday, 19 July 2013 See my other reviews
Great movie...but that the hell is up with that ending? You have a white movie throughout then BAM bollywood ending..?huh?...
Posted Wednesday, 3 July 2013 See my other reviews
mnhalpern
says
Mirror Mirror was magical. Although it was a little too mature for my youngest daughter, the movie captivated my imagination. The costumes and colours were beguiling.
Posted Wednesday, 1 May 2013 See my other reviews
Ginu
says
beautiful, all of us enjoyed it. It is the old story about Snow white, but with a twist.
Posted Thursday, 25 April 2013 See my other reviews
Stuart
says
Didn't enjoy this movie. It was just annoying and stupid. The Bollywood ending was out of place. didn't turn it off but thought about it
Posted Thursday, 21 March 2013 See my other reviews
Cass
says
Dissappointing. We love fantasy movies but this movie wasnt that great. Not sure what it was about the movie...but did not keep everyone entertained. Although the kids loved the dwarfs on their bouncing stilts.
Posted Tuesday, 5 March 2013 See my other reviews
Lisa
says
loved it. Great, fun movie.....
Posted Monday, 4 March 2013 See my other reviews
David Williams
says
Much better than expected,really worth a look
Posted Saturday, 9 February 2013 See my other reviews
David Daniell
says
Thoroughly enjoyed this movie, it had a great twist to a fairy tale
Posted Friday, 1 February 2013 See my other reviews
Why the heck do they have American accents? The characters are annoyingly dumb.
Posted Tuesday, 22 January 2013 See my other reviews
Michele
says
I thought it was well done and a little different from the same old version.
Posted Tuesday, 15 January 2013 See my other reviews
Janine
says
I loved this movie - loved the costume design, the sets, the sometimes tongue-in-cheek script, loved Julie Roberts (not usually a big fan), really loved the-young-Elizabeth-Taylor-look-alike, Lily Collins, she was amazing and the Prince was gorgeous. Loved the dwarfs and Nathan Lane, loved the colour schemes, loved the snow(they used salt) and the special effects. I also loved the wandering away from the traditional story in spots and the 'beast' was magnificent. Did I leave anything out? This was a great feel good movie, totally suitable for family viewing but still fun for adults if there are no children left. And, the final sequence .... hubby didn't 'get' the bollywoodness, but I didn't mind at all. It was fun. It was happy and it completed the circle. And, what other ending options could there be? Interesting note - Lily Collins playing Snow White, one of the main characters, only had 4 different costumes in the movie. I might buy this one.
Posted Saturday, 12 January 2013 See my other reviews
jim
says
ordinary
Posted Friday, 4 January 2013 See my other reviews
Val Gamble
says
What utter rubbish.I can't believe Julia Roberts agreed to appear in this
Posted Thursday, 3 January 2013 See my other reviews
Absolutely loved this until the final minutes. My wife and I both turned to each other and said "why?" The ending is the only reason I haven't given this 5 stars.
Posted Thursday, 3 January 2013 See my other reviews
Has its good parts and its bad parts. Great costumes and not too bad as a movie but not something I would watch again. I didn't realise that the singing and dancing townsfolk of medieval times knew Bollywood styles!
Posted Wednesday, 2 January 2013 See my other reviews
Toni
says
No thanks. We are quite lenient and give most things a go, but we lasted twenty minutes into this and got bored
Posted Monday, 31 December 2012 See my other reviews
movielover2012
says
loved the graphic/ costume design. Julia Roberts as evil queen great acting. a bit different to her usual self. the dwarves made movie watchable. otherwise the princess Snow White and the prince were a bit dull. lack character or oomph. overall ok & fun to watch. just not amazing.
Posted Friday, 28 December 2012 See my other reviews
GORDIE
says
This was one of the silliest movies ever. Julia Roberts is wasted in this. Nathan Lane is the same in every movie. Just pathetic and doesn't even rate one star. Total Dud
Posted Thursday, 27 December 2012 See my other reviews
Faye
says
Interesting take on a classic fairy tale... My 4 yo daughter seemed to enjoy it as well, surprisingly but what's with the Bollywood singing and dancing at the end, sort of spoiled it for me...
Posted Friday, 21 December 2012 See my other reviews
Strekkie
says
We enjoyed every minute of it. A very nice modern version of a classic. Julia plays a great evil queen and Lily played her role as Snow White very well. My 6 year old daughter sat through the whole movie and made us pause it so she could get something to drink. The “Bollywood” ending came as a surprise but having seen many Bollywood movies both my wife and I found it very entertaining. A great movie if you just want to sit back and be entertained.
Posted Friday, 21 December 2012 See my other reviews
Lisa
says
This movie is a newer version of snow white - so if you like fairy tales this movie is for you.
Posted Wednesday, 19 December 2012 See my other reviews
Otto
says
An interesting (and amusing) take on the old fairy tale. Julia Roberts is great as the evil queen.
Posted Sunday, 16 December 2012 See my other reviews
McLovin
says
What's with the Bollywood ending? Well adapted version of the story, I enjoyed it and so did the "little viewing public" on the floor. :)
Posted Sunday, 16 December 2012 See my other reviews
Wweell woth it for Julia
Posted Thursday, 13 December 2012 See my other reviews
Sil
says
Very boring with one really bizarre Bollywood ending.
Posted Saturday, 8 December 2012 See my other reviews
Matthew B.
says
Funny. Whimsical. Kids might love it. Julia is delicious.
Posted Saturday, 8 December 2012 See my other reviews
Great family movie, enjoyed by all. Agree with other reviews about strange final scene with Bollywood song?
Posted Saturday, 1 December 2012 See my other reviews
GaryH
says
This looks great and silliness abounds, by the end degenerating into total nonsense.
Posted Friday, 30 November 2012 See my other reviews
Sybil
says
Snow White and the Huntsman is a far better show, most of the good stuff was in the preview.
Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 See my other reviews
Jojo
says
A bit cheesey and not to the 'traditional' story line (although what remake has been these days). Seriously did not get the bollywood song at the end - up till then quite entertaining.
Posted Sunday, 25 November 2012 See my other reviews
Julia Robberts is Good. Enjoyed this movie.
Posted Thursday, 22 November 2012 See my other reviews
ICP
says
Better than was expecting, although the last scene seemed a bit out of place. Very good family movie with some interesting takes on the farytale. Thought Lily Collins played her role as Snow White very well. Worth the extra 1/2 for a 3.5
Posted Tuesday, 20 November 2012 See my other reviews
Sarah
says
Not sure what all the hype is with Snow White at the moment but it was a good 'G' rated version I suppose I would describe it..... My husband got quite board though. I thought it was fresh and the acting was quite good - not much else to say really.
Posted Tuesday, 20 November 2012 See my other reviews
June
says
We loved this! Our 6 year old thought it was wonderful, and so did we. Magical costumes and special effects. A little bit of girl power with Snow White was a nice modern touch to a classic story. Woudl definitely recommend.
Posted Sunday, 18 November 2012 See my other reviews
She
says
What was with the song at the end??? A try hard movie which didn't quite hit the mark.
Posted Wednesday, 14 November 2012 See my other reviews
Me
says
This dvd wouldn't read in my playstation or laptop. :(
Posted Wednesday, 14 November 2012 See my other reviews
Trisha
says
Quite enjoyed this movie, an easy watch.
Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 See my other reviews
Jess
says
Really good, Julia Roberts is amazing
Posted Thursday, 8 November 2012 See my other reviews
Just for the laughs and especially the Bollywood style number at the end, add another half star
Posted Tuesday, 6 November 2012 See my other reviews
Lynnette
says
Funny at parts but for such a beautiful casting of Snow White this movie 're-imagined' lacked so many elements to make this movie a good re-telling of a classic fairytale. Far too disney and even then, Disney would've put more effort into it than this. Sorry, it was dull from beginning to end.
Posted Monday, 5 November 2012 See my other reviews
Ann E.
says
Great fun to watch and we very much enjoyed something 'different' ! If you are expecting classic Julia Roberts you will be disappointed as it is just a modern take on the old 'Once Upon A Time' - Snow White & The Seven Dwarf fairy tale. The costumes and scenery are amazing, you fall in love with the funny characters. Just watch it and don't expect anything 'heavy or classic' and enjoy it for what it is. . . a fun family movie. I expect Julia Robert had a great deal of fun making this movie.
Posted Wednesday, 31 October 2012 See my other reviews
Kristina
says
Loved this movie. Julia Roberts plays a wonderful role as the evil queen and Snow White is just gorgeous. I loved the new concepts thrown in with the dwarfs and the Prince who was a bit wimpy. All the family could watch this with no problems.
Posted Monday, 29 October 2012 See my other reviews
Julia Roberts should be downgraded to D-grade for her performance in this
Posted Monday, 22 October 2012 See my other reviews
Miss Marnie
says
Ughh! Couldn't stand this movie! Characters were not to be believed and Julia Roberts was terrible! Very disappointed!
Posted Saturday, 20 October 2012 See my other reviews
Phillip
says
Well done variation of the FairyTale ,entertaining ,all the actors hammed it up well .Recommended
Posted Thursday, 18 October 2012 See my other reviews
Shane.
says
Nice movie ,a good twists on a family favourite. The Dwaves are great.
Posted Tuesday, 16 October 2012 See my other reviews
Anya
says
I'd recommend watching this film just for all the stunning costume designs. As well as that, the film is funny, colorful and visually beautiful. It's a hundred times better than the "Snow white and the Huntsman" version of this classic fairy tail. And also more kid friendly. Also really enjoyed Julia Roberts performance as the queen.
Posted Sunday, 14 October 2012 See my other reviews
What a great movie!!!! Amazing colourful costumes, funny scenes and fantastic characters.. I loved it that much I watched it again.. Great movie for all ages..
Posted Saturday, 13 October 2012 See my other reviews
Larry
says
Probably need to be about 10 years old to appreciate this one!
Posted Saturday, 13 October 2012 See my other reviews
Margit
says
It a pleasent movie lots of everything, its funny has beautiful costums and beautiful scenary and a touch of Bollywood acting was great. Nice family movie.
Posted Friday, 12 October 2012 See my other reviews
Luc
says
Mirror Mirror is absolutely hilarious. A real movie that is set on telling the story, rather than the current trend of hoping special effects will sell, MM is riddled with moments of joy, humour and awkwardness that have you both laughing and intrigued. While one scene with puppet monsters was a little unnecessary and rather unimaginative, the remainder of the film is set alight with amazing costumes, awe inspiring sets, great use of colour, and an outstanding performance from Julia Roberts. Also commendable are Armie Hammer and Mark Povinelli. The bollywood number at the end was both odd and amusing, but did create a nice light atmosphere to finish off the film.
Posted Thursday, 11 October 2012 See my other reviews
Enjoyable - Julia Roberts plays evil queen with great glee. Arnie Hammer a but wooden but suspect that was the pit - its is a fairy tale after all.
Posted Saturday, 6 October 2012 See my other reviews
LOVED THE WHOLE VISUAL EXPERIENCE OF THIS MOVIE...ANOTHER PERPECTIVE OF A WELL TOLD STORY
Posted Wednesday, 3 October 2012 See my other reviews
Melzy
says
Watched it yesterday!!! excellent adaptation of a old fairytale ... Loved every minute!!!
Posted Sunday, 29 April 2012 See my other reviews
Azz
says
Sweet, funny and entertaining for any generation. Excellent performances. Its nice to have a pleasant alternative to the Snow White tale.
Posted Wednesday, 25 April 2012 See my other reviews
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