19 April 2012
Director: Tarsem Singh
Producer: Ryan Cavanaugh / Bret Ratnerr / Kevin Misher / Bernie Goldman
Screenwriter: Marc Klein / Jason Keller
Cast: Julia Roberts / Lily Collins / Nathan Lane / Armie Hammer
Cinematography: Brendan Galvin
Editing: Robert Davy / Nick Moore
Illustration Music: Alan Menken
Distributor: Relativity Media
Length: 106 minutes
Budget: $ 85 million
Timeless fairy tale Snow White has been adapted countless numbers in a variety of mediums including film. The story of Snow White is identical with the pretty princess, the evil queen, a magic mirror, seven dwarves, poisoned apples, as well as the handsome prince. Singh’s version is different from the usual story and the filmmakers add a touch of his mise en scene is typical. Filmmakers from India are familiar with his films are very imaginative in terms of setting and costume, is seen in his works such as The Cell (2000), The Fall (2006), as well as the Immortal (2011). And now in the Mirror Mirror golden touch has not disappeared altogether.
“This is a story about me (not Snow White),” said the Queen (Julia Roberts) in the opening narration. It’s not entirely true, the story pretty much fifty-fifty between the queen and the princess. Prince Alcott are in the original story had little role it is now much less dominant and the other aide of the princess, Brighton (Nathan Lane). The story is relatively evenly distributed among all the human characters including seven dwarfs (I term it stunted because they did not seem like a dwarf). Not to mention the movie is more to the comedy makes the film feel even become not serious and the story line is predictable. Also from the title of the film as a magic mirror will be the dominant role in the film was not well. Chemistry with the queen’s magic mirror was limited to “physical” only.
Talk settings and costumes, a touch of artistic Singh along with the late arranger, Eiko Eshioka, is one of the best and most unique through imagination and fantasy. Interior space is magnificent palace with a unique decor, the rooms of the queen, to the “space mirror” through which entrance was fantastic. Through the bright and colorful costumes, Tarsem illustrates the queen is no more “evil” than it should and fits with the character of Roberts, while Snow White costume is always white. Nan costumes unique charm and colorful look at the queen’s party at the palace. Last but not least, the human dwarf costumes seem to be the most imaginative and able to deceive us from the beginning.
Mise en scene charm Mirror Mirror is a major force movie adaptation but the weak story made the artistic achievement as separate from the story. If Tarsem made this film for children’s artistic achievement and the costumes it would intimidate them. Roberts appearance, the lovely Lily Collins, and Nathan Lane are also not able to lift the film. Small and sweet surprises at the closing film makes me wonder if this film is the musical taste can be a lot better. Tarsem seems to still have to find a more fitting story with a very intriguing aesthetic approach.
(Score: C +)
Editor and senior writer at Montase, lecturer at film academy in Yogyakarta, film critics, and author of the book ‘Memahami Film’ (Understanding Films)