Monday, April 2, 2012

At the Movies: Mirror Mirror

With the emergence of ABC's "Once Upon a Time" and movies like Mirror Mirror and this summer's Snow White and the Huntsman, the popularity of Snow White is at an all-time high.  I had the good fortune to see Mirror Mirror this past Sunday, marking my first trip to the movies in more than a month.  Star-starved as I was, I enjoyed watching Julia Roberts's evil queen, Lily Collins's (yes, she of Phil Collins lineage) Snow White, and Armie Hammer's prince charming.  In this rendition we get a modernized glimpse into the queen's motivations as well as a PC spin on the damsel in distress song and dance.  This time it's Snow White who rescues the prince, proving that a girl can have her crown and wear it, too.  The dwarfs are amusing as comic outcasts, as is Nathan Lane as the queen's fumbling and put-upon valet.  Still, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.  The tale ultimately follows the plotlines of the original, with winter blossoming into the spring of a royal wedding.

Later that day I delved into "Once Upon a Time's" much darker backstory of how the queen got to be so wicked.  It made for an interesting contrast to the frothier Mirror Mirror, underscoring that there are many sides to a single story.  Apparently, the queen began life as a nice, normal lovestruck girl.  But then her mother murdered her fiance (as so often happens in these sorts of setups), a turn of events unwittingly precipitated by a child-aged Snow White.  As they say, all heck broke loose, and the wicked stepmother persona was born.  I hear that Snow White and the Huntsman promises to be even more disturbing.  Which means that I'll have to skip it.  Psychological thrills can be intriguing, but I can't abide the kind of gore conjured by the word "hunstman."   

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