Few directors can frame a film with the visionary flair of India-born Tarsem Singh (see The Cell, for starters). As a result, Mirror Mirror – a spin on Snow White for audiences who really think they need another one – offers sets, costumes and imagery to drool over. But what's inside the frame? Yuccck! The script by Marc Klein and Jason Keller is a model of storytelling incoherence and a lot of good actors go down in its swirling drain. Julia Roberts tries hard – way too hard – as the Evil Queen who locks up poor Snow White (Lily Collins, daughter of Phil Collins and the misfortune of this film), who has just turned 18 and is suitably restless. It's Snow who first sets sights on Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer), but it's the aging Queen who needs him to fill her needs and her barren treasury. There's no spark in any of this contrived piffle, not even the seven dwarfs, portrayed here as lovable thieves of the road. ABC's Once Upon a Time series handles similar material with far more imagination. It's painful to watch the Queen undergo beauty treatments. A facial with parrot poop is not to be believed. Collins is a lovely in a young Audrey Hepburn way, but the script gives her nothing to play but tacked-on feminism. I've been told the movie plays best with very young girls. That's an insult very young girls should not be forced to endure. Who wants to see a fairy tale that weighs a ton? Mirror Mirror reflects badly on everyone involved.
Jan Thijs. © 2012 Relativity Media. All Rights Reserved.