Let the battle of the Snow White movies begin with Tarsem Singh’s adaptation, Mirror Mirror.
The film opens with a beautifully animated prologue reminiscent of the animated sequence in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. The bulk of the film is beautifully shot and each scene features vibrant colors set off by exquisitely crafted costumes. There is such extravagant detail in every scene – the ball and wedding scenes especially – that the eye just can’t help moving across the screen.
Beside the costumes, what’s exceptional about Singh’s take on this classic story is that it is intent on disproving the fairy tale ideal that the prince needs to save the princess.
At no part in this movie is Lily Collins’ Snow White entirely helpless. She starts off as a meek child, stuck under the cruel thumb of Julia Roberts’ Queen, but by the end Snow blossoms into a confident young woman who is resourceful and determined to fight her own battles.
Collins has the perfect look for Snow White. Her large eyes reflect the glow of purity and beauty that is associated with the character. Her voice is quiet and subdued at first, but once she meets the dwarves and they teach her to fight, her voice grows stronger with her character.
Roberts is clearly having a ball playing the infamous Evil Queen, yet her performance is understated and at times creepy without being over the top. The Social Network’s Armie Hammer is adorably charming as the prince, whose frequent shirtless scenes are sure to entertain.
Each of the dwarves has a distinct personality, very different from that of his Disney version, and although the dwarves comprise the cheesiest parts of the movie, they offer cute and family-friendly fun.
There are a couple of minor plot holes and some of the dialogue is a bit clichéd, but not at the expense of the movie. Mirror Mirror fleshes out the story of Snow White and also serves as a commentary on how the extravagance of the rich affects the poor. This Snow White adaptation is a great empowerment tale with stunning visuals to back it up.