DIRECTOR Tarsem Singh
CAST Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane
A visually dazzling re-imagining of the Snow White fairy tale. When a wicked enchantress steals control of the kingdom, the exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright. An entertaining family comedy with an enjoyable over-the-top performance from Roberts as the Evil Queen.
Visionary director Tarsem Singh (Immortals) rewrites fairy tale history as a wicked enchantress (Roberts) schemes and scrambles for control of a spirited orphan’s (Collins) throne and the attention of a charming prince (Hammer). When Snow White’s beauty wins the heart of the prince that she desperately pursues, the Queen banishes her to the forest, where a ravening man-eating beast hungrily awaits.
Rescued by a band of diminutive highway robbers, Snow White grows into an indomitable young woman determined to take back her realm from the treacherous Queen. With the support of her subjects, she roars into action in an epic battle that blends spectacle, magic and contemporary humor in Singh’s signature, jaw-dropping visual style.
BBFC advice: Contains mild threat, violence and infrequent mild language Further Parental Advice
“The best thing about Mirror, Mirror is that everybody in it seems to be having the time of their lives. Look at Armie Hammer (Prince Alcott) - he's bounding about shirtless pretending to be a puppy, and he's loving it! And over there's Lily 'Daughter-of-Phil' Collins as Snow White, getting all 'girl power' with a sword. And that Julia Roberts, she's a saucy minx, suggestively raising a Roger Moorish eyebrow as she delivers sardonic one-liners and flouncing about in a selection of massive and really quite bizarre frocks - upstaged only by the Bjorkish swan hat that Snow White wears to the prince's welcome ball.
The crazy costumes - like something out of the most amazing little girls' dressing up box ever - are the other best thing about this film, along with the outlandish sets which look like someone zapped one of those Polly Pocket toys from the Nineties with the machine from Honey, I Blew Up the Kid and decided to stick some real-life actors in it - mostly in a good way.
As for the plot, it's completely lost it. It's as if some deranged fairy godmother chucked together a dollop of Grimm, a dash of Disney, a generous helping of The Wizard of Oz, threw in a pinch of Princess Bride for good measure, then shook it all up in a snow globe before tacking a Bollywood sequence on to the end. It's completely nonsensical and not particularly inspired in terms of re-imagining the original or Disney version of the story - the most interesting twist is that Snow White becomes bandit leader to the dwarves, now highwaymen rather than whistling exponents of hard labour. But the utter absurdity of it all somehow (just about) manages to add to the air of light-hearted fun.
The slap-stick, like everything else in the film, topples over into OTT territory at times, and may start to grate on some grown-ups' nerves. But then this is a kids' film and, as generations of children's TV presenters have proved, kids love watching people who are old enough to know better mincing around behaving like egocentric nincompoops.
Verdict - Bonkers but bloody good fun, especially if you're under the age of 10."
UK RELEASE 2 April 2012
RUNNING TIME 106 minutes
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