Screening Room: MIRROR MIRROR

(Relativity Media)

(KTSF by Sean Au)

Remember the story of Snow White, told to us when we were still children? It has become the latest inspiration of not one but two Hollywood re-imagined versions this year.

In the first that hits theatres this week (the other “Snow White and the Huntsman” will open in June), the King (Sean Bean) mysteriously disappears in the woods and the Queen (Julia Roberts) takes over the reign of the fabled land. While living lavishly, the Queen collects exorbitant taxes from the commoners, resulting in their living in poverty.

The Queen also forbids her step-daughter, Snow White (Lily Collins), from leaving her bedroom, lest Snow White’s beauty overshadow that of the Queen. The Queen asks her aide Brighton (Nathan Lane) to kill Snow White, and so Brighton takes Snow White to the woods. Will Snow White suffer the same fate as her missing father? Or will she be able to claim her throne and marry the prince she likes from a neighboring kingdom?

In this bright, campy version, you are watching for two things. Julia Roberts and the outstanding production design. Roberts is obviously having fun with this role with her mischief and flashiness. It is hard not to be impressed by the vision that Director Tarsem Singh brings to his re-invention of the fairy tale. Everything is loud and attractive, yet never ostentatious. The impressive architecture of the structure where the magic mirror is placed is imaginative and commanding, while Japanese designer Eiko Ishioka’s costumes makes all the characters come to life.

While this Snow White tale gives a twist to the story that we are familiar with, somehow, it still feels fairly safe and could have taken bolder steps. Yet, from the laughter from adults and children alike in the theatre, it is safe to say “Mirror Mirror” comes with solid entertainment attributes for the family.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Video courtesy of Relativity Media.

(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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