Saturday, September 22, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: Mirror Mirror

2012, Tarsem Singh (The Cell, Immortals) -- download

There were two Snow White movies out at the same time, one (Snow White & the Huntsman) dramatic and one comedic.  I knew I would see one in the cinemas and I was curious about the other one.  There were a few jokes in the trailers that made me chuckle but for the most part it seemed... tired.  But, it was TARSEM !!  Yes, that Tarsem responsible for visually stunning movies such as The Cell and Immortals.  What the fuck is he doing here directing a by-the-book comedic adaptation of a faery tale? Sure, directors should be allowed to stretch their abilities with other material but his strengths obviously focus around set design and costuming with dramatic flair.   The only director I know who can merge comedy and those traits is Tim Burton, but he has had that distinct motif for his entire career.  Anywayz, that is what I thought going into this movie.  And guess what?  That is what I think coming out of the movie.

This movie, as I imagine lots of producers and executive producers demanded, wants to be The Princess Bride and Ella Enchanted, a sort of Disney-fied faery tale full of anachronistic references and situations but full of beautiful costumes and magic, which I guess is where Tarsem came in.  So, they gave him two rote screenwriters that dish up a story that I believe I actually shouted at the screen about, "Seriously?  That is where the story is going to go?"  And yes, once again I blame the money-bearing Hollywood support for a movie, not the creative involved.  I don't think Tarsem makes a lot of money when he follows his vision but maybe he made a deal in order to get Immortals shot, as he wanted it.  I am sure there were some crossroads dealing in his career that led him to this crappy movie, a crappy movie that Kent cannot accuse me of liking.

What was it about?  I suppose I don't have much more to say that a brief description of the plot.  Lilly Collins, who does bear a stunning ressemblance to the Disney cartoon Snow White, is the daughter of the King (Sean Bean; uh oh) who has lost her mother in childbirth and gained a stepmother.  He dies early on, in great Beanean tradition, and she is left with beautiful stepmother Julia Roberts.  The Queen has driven the kingdom into the ground with her lavish balls and spending. She needs a new man in her life and he happens to be wandering the wood.  Unfortunately, so was Snow White and you know how it goes when Prince meets Princess.  Thus we are led through plots to have Snow White killed (no huntsmen, just effete Nathan Lane) and thievish dwarves (bumbling tumbling little people of course!) and some ludicrous spells (seriously? puppy love?) but it all works out for the happy princess and all ends with a Bollywood number.  Get it? Tarsem is Indian so he is good with those!!