14 October 2012

Film: Mirror Mirror (2012)

Thoughts: Mirror Mirror is an effervescent delight, cascading with colour, good times and great feelings. I fell in with the comedic style almost instantly. The film felt to me like an updated, very stylish and AMAZINGLY well edited (I'll explain why that's important later) old-timey adventure comedy. Big laughs, big outfits, big fights and big ideas. Even with all these "big"s flying around, the story itself is really quite small scale, which means the fairly long runtime was a bit detrimental to the kind of light fun that the film offers. But regardless of that, I enjoyed the film immensely. Reminded me of Jeunet's Micmacs.

It's Snow White. But done as a comedy. It stars Lily Collins as Snow White, Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen, Armie Hammer as the Prince, and Nathan Lane as the Queen's snivelling man servant. Quite a good cast all round, actually.

Mirror Mirror is played for laughs, through and through. And if you're open to it, it should work for you. The script crackles and bounces, keeping up comedic momentum pretty much the entire time. Of course, without game actors and actresses this would all be for naught, but every player is up for the challenge, bringing an energy to each line of dialogue and physical demand that the script throws at them. And what this all adds up to is the one thing that was sorely missing from the other Snow White film from this time (Snow White & The Huntsman): Heart. This film has a big heart, open to all. And that's what the film brings to you as a viewer. It can melt a cold heart, and erase a bad feeling or occurrence. Pure entertainment in its unadulterated form.

But without snappy, properly timed edits, it would all be for naught. When to cut to the surprised look on someone's face, or jumping between several key events and items in a particular moment or exchange, this is the chewy centre to every comedy. Standing ovation to Robert Duffy & Nick Moore for their outstanding work here. The film jumps and skips at just the right moment, allowing the funny of each and every sequence or line to pop completely and without hindrance. With those kinds of strategists on board, and with writers Marc Klein and Jason Keller's ammunition, all the actors get to have all sorts of fun onscreen.

The dwarves in particular are great fun, and they also get the plum screen action sequences. They gad about with these strange accordion-style leg extenders, and these make for some great stunts and exhilarating moments. And of course with the visuals of director Tarsem Singh around every corner, we are treated to opulent designs in both set and attire, and some great magical elements. My personal favourite was the tete-a-tete with the humongous string powered mannequins at the dwarf hovel.

The runtime could have taken a bit of a hit though. Despite all the crazy, light fun, the film almost hits two hours, and for light fun- optimal word being LIGHT- the film has a few subplots that could have served trimming. That said, I can see why they would have been reluctant to cut; more Nathan Lane or the surprisingly comedy adept Armie Hammer is not a bad thing.

Plus I REALLY could have done without the left-field song and dance number at the end. I mean, I get what they are trying to say, what with the whole "no one has sung or danced for years" type deal, but come on. It was just an annoying song, with Snow White practically doing the whole thing. I couldn't help but look at all the remaining cast looking mighty awkward in the peripherals. But I guess it being at the end, and not stuck in the middle, means I can skip it at will on subsequent viewings.

Today I figured, I'm gonna aim high. Runtime aside, it was a great, GREAT time in front of the box, and one I would actually look forward to revisiting.


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