Directed by: Tarsem Singh
Runtime: 106 minutes
The plot, as thin as it was, did not follow the traditional Snow White retelling. Instead, we are given a narration in the beginning that can be summarized as: Once upon a time there was a King and Queen. They had a child, but the Queen died during childbirth. Enter the evil madam with good looks and suddenly the King is no longer a widower. For some reason, unexplained, the King goes into the woods one night and disappears... forever? Now, we are catapulted into the NOW, where Snow White, played by Lily Collins, is about to turn 18, living under the roof of her wicked stepmother, the Queen.
The plot, or lack thereof, resulted in 106 minutes of continuous flat dialogue and no character development. Do we like Snow White? Wait a minute, do we even know Snow White - in her first appearance we find Snow in her bedroom, dressed in all the castle's finest, hand-feeding a bird. Being trapped in the castle looks pretty tough, especially looking at the fine clothes, ornate bedroom and lack of shackles. There is no pain, there is no anger, and there appears to be no mistreatment towards the Princess other than the scolding she gets from the Queen when she interrupts her chess game. All that I'm left to conclude in these opening segments is that Snow White is not only clueless, but she's rather complacent as well, maintaining a smile on her fair face that shows no hint of scorn or resentment.
It's interesting, if not confusing, when Snow is determined to finally venture outside of the castle, whereupon she is horrified at the state that the people must live in, thanks to the Queen squandering away every last penny on herself, whilst deciding to continually raise taxes on the already underprivileged. I asked myself, if life is so bad under the Queen's reign, why hasn't anyone staged a coup already? Out with the old and in with the new! But this makes too much sense for fairy tale scenes, so we'll throw in a handsome Prince instead. Enter Armie Hammer as Prince Alcott. Hammer has the looks of a Prince, complete with the glistening perfect white teeth and the deep manly-voice. As an actor, however, Hammer was not too convincing. Although I'm not sure he was given too much to work with, considering his indifferent and sappy role-playing throughout the entirety of the film. Don't get me wrong, sometimes this works. The film "Ella Enchanted" comes to mind, where the characters never took themselves too seriously and made a fun time of it. But this was not the case with "Mirror Mirror."
I don't feel it necessary to go into all the elements that were used to string the plot together. Yes there were dwarves, a monster, and an apple, but none of these elements were utilized to their best potential. The dwarves, inventive little giants that they were, did not capture my sympathy nor apathy. The monster was... too predictable. And the apple was better late than never.
"Mirror Mirror" may pass for a rental on a rainy afternoon when you need to brighten your day with a bit of color.