If you have children, they often want you to read them a story when they go to bed. This can be fun, except when they keep asking for the same story over and over again. For you young parents, watch out because later on this becomes watching the same DVDs over and over again.
As a result, you get to know the stories pretty well and can sometimes even recite them instead of read them. If you have daughters, one of those stories is Snow White. Now there is a new film “Mirror Mirror,” and you won’t be able to recite the story from this movie.
The film begins with the queen (Julia Roberts) telling the story of Snow White’s birth and how the queen came to power. The queen is actually the second wife of the king and has no desire for Snow White to take over ruling the kingdom. Nor does she wish to be the runner-up to Snow White in the beauty department.
Snow White (Lily Collins) has been banished to her room. She has snuck out though, thinking there is a party being thrown for her 18th birthday. The queen informs her that even if it was her 100th birthday there would still be no party and sends her back to her room.
The queen meets a prince (Armie Hammer) traveling in the area and realizes her money problems can be solved if she marries him. Snow has also met him and has deep feelings for him.
Snow is told that she should see the conditions around the kingdom. So she sneaks out of the castle to find the people of the kingdom living in squalor. They have very little to eat and nothing to keep them going. Yet the queen still taxes them so she can have lavish events at the castle.
Snow now realizes she must act to get her kingdom back. The queen realizes that Snow is a threat and has her taken to the woods to be disposed of. Instead Snow is allowed to live and finds the dwarves in the forest.
This story is different form the classical tale many are used to seeing, but this film does a wonderful job with this story. Above all, this film is fun, and as a result it becomes entertaining. All of the actors in this film capture their characters and make you feel they are in a fairy tale.
Julia Roberts does very well as the evil queen, making that character easy to despise and root against. Collins, a relatively new actress, does a magnificent job as Snow White, presenting her as sweet and innocent yet ready to fight. There is also a sense of magnetism between her and Hammer, who plays the prince. Plus the dwarves in the film are a very good ensemble who interact with each other with great timing. Then there is Nathan Lane, who makes any film he is in just even more enjoyable.
Adding to the fact that the cast is wonderful is the story; it is one that the audience will find new and interesting. This is a new day for Snow White, and it is a good day.
There is some violence in this film. The dwarves are not miners. Instead they rob people traveling through the forest. They also take the prince’s clothes a few times, so he is seen without his shirt on. The dwarves do drink, and one of them appears a little tipsy in one scene. The darkest part of the film deals with a danger that lurks in the forest, and Snow White and her friends must face that danger.
The one word to describe this film is fun. The whole family will enjoy this story and find humor in many different ways. The look of the film is off-center, but in an enjoyable kind of Dr. Seuss way. This film will get families coming back to the theater together.
Shawn O'Neill is the Family Man Movie Reviewer on BYU Radio. His reviews can be heard on BYURadio.org and on SiriusXM Channel 143.