|CAST:||JULIA ROBERTS - THE QUEEN|
|LILY COLLINS - SNOW WHITE|
|ARMIE HAMMER - PRINCE ALCOT|
|NATHAN LANE - BRIGHTON|
|SEAN BEAN - KING|
We all know the story - Evil Queen/stepmother and an orphaned Princess. Queen (and her penchant for black magic) desires all the beauty and power in the kingdom but the sweet, innocent and naturally beautiful Snow White stands in her way. The Queen orders Snow White’s death, it doesn’t happen. Snow White seeks refuge with a group of short-statured miners until the handsome prince comes to save her.... Oh yeah, and there’s an apple in there somewhere. Blah blah blah.
Tarsem Singh Dhandwar’s version plagues the evil Queen (Julia Roberts) with financial issues, meaning her need to marry rich is the goal in this tale. Enter the very wealthy and very, very pretty (and often shirtless) Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer). The seven miner dwarfs are now a band of seven bandits who use some Cirque du Soleil-looking stilts and moves to match, while Snow White learns to save herself and her destitute kingdom. Girl power! Also, the infamous mirror as referred to in the title is not a scary fortune-telling mirror, as much as a portal to what one can only be described as Bora Bora... in hell... with talking mirrors.
While the filmmakers have twisted the tale enough to make it their own, it’s by no means unique or edgy enough to make it a praiseworthy (or even worthwhile) adaptation.
By far, the film’s strongest element is its rich visuals, something Singh Dhandwar is known for from his past projects such as ‘The Cell’ and ‘Immortals’ - a vibrant and perfect production design, camp and wacky with a very Dr Seuss feel to it.
Old-fashioned language with a modern sensibility produces some seriously golden one-liners that take you by surprise in an otherwise messy and lacklustre script.
Armie Hammer, while fitting the role of the handsome prince to a T, also doesn’t shy away from the physically comedic and outlandish sides to his role. His effervescent charm and comedic skills are just a few of the pleasant surprises of this production.
Lily Collins is adequate as Snow White, while her looks leave no question as to why she received the role, though in terms of skill and charisma she is easily upstaged by her smaller (in stature only) co-stars – particularly Hammer and Roberts, who seems to be having too much delicious fun in her role as the Wicked Queen.
This film is for fans of the original material only, if you’re not opposed to these modern twists. Also for diehard fans of the stars. Otherwise, wait for the DVD.