Recently I was treated to a viewing of Mirror Mirror, otherwise known as that other Snow White movie that came out earlier this year. I had wanted to see it at the cinema because not only do I study (and adore) fairy tales, but I’ve also been a fan of director Tarsem Singh’s incredibly lush and detailed style of filmmaking since The Cell. The Fall has been, in my opinion, his undisputed masterpiece, but no matter how colourful and vibrant his visuals are, his films all have a dark undertone to them. That actually works well in fairy tales, as the original stories were far more gruesome than the Disney concoctions that we know today. The Grimm Brothers brought fairy tales into the nursery, but before that they were lewd fables of bloodlust, sex, and death, told (or even enacted) as amusement for adults. However, the previews for Mirror Mirror alluded to a film geared for the younger set, rampant with childish physical humor and dwarf jokes. Because of this, I wasn’t terribly fussed when I became too busy to make it to the cinema when it came out.
In retrospect I wish that I had taken the time to see Mirror Mirror instead of Snow White & The Huntsman, as the former is far, far, far superior to the latter. Mirror Mirror was rife with the Tarsem visuals that I was craving, but it also had elements of darkness and as well as deep magic. Gone were the childish jabs seen in the previews, and what remained was an enthralling and endearing film that would be tame enough for children but nonetheless thoroughly enjoyable for adults. The funny parts were actually funny, the beautiful parts were stunning, and the overall feel of the film was warm and wonderful despite the fact that most of the story takes place in a downfall of snow. I was so enamored of this version of Snow White that I decided to share the Bollywood-inspired song from the film, “I Believe In Love,” sung by Snow White herself, Lily Collins.
If fairy tales continue to remain in vogue (fingers crossed!) and directors make more versions as gorgeous as Mirror Mirror, then I’ll be certain not to miss any future outings to the cinema for them.