Direction: Tarsem Singh Dhandwar
Cast: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins
A vacuous re-imagining of the Snow White fairy-tale, Mirror Mirror marks a change of pace for the director of the recently released, Immortals. This time around, Tarsem Singh Dhandwar attempts an outlandish comedy but chances are the target teen audience isn't going to laugh much during the course of its laborious 105-minute running time.
A lacklustre animated prologue introduces us to the vile queen (Roberts, miscast). Having usurped the rightful inheritance of her stepdaughter (Collins, winsome), she now schemes to marry the well-to-do prince (Armie Hammer) from a neighbouring kingdom.
But wait! It turns out that the determined damsel and the dashing visitor have already met in the forest when she rescued him from the clutches of the bandit dwarves. In true fairy-tale tradition, the queen ensures that the course of true love runs anything but smoothly. While the script contains sufficient groaners, there's no denying Tarsem's gift for flamboyant visuals. The wintry vistas, vivid production palette and ornate costumes, courtesy Eiko Ishioka the late Japanese designer to whom the film is dedicated, provide added fillip.
As the narrative progresses, however, it becomes difficult to endure the slapstick shenanigans of the diminutive septet who transform from scalawags to saviours of sorts. The climactic Bollywood-influenced song and dance celebration is one of the most excruciating sequences in recent memory.
All style and no substance, Mirror Mirror is hardly the fairest of the current crop of fantasy films.