A Comparison of Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman
Comparing the two Snow White queens, Charleze Theron and Julia Roberts, is like trying to compare Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights with Captain Jack Sparrow. With Heathcliff we drink the dregs of despair. With Captain Jack we vicariously drink anything available as we share the twinkle in his bleary eyes.
Mirror Mirror is refreshingly tongue-in-cheek while visually stunning, especially in the wardrobe department with costumes so colorfully exaggerated you have to look twice to see them once. The movie maintains a light, ironic flavor throughout, and never takes itself too seriously. Julia Roberts is charmingly evil, wryly provocative in a jaded sort of way, and totally bored with the world except where it can be manipulated to her own ends. And she does it all so magnificently in spite of what some critics have said. Believe me, she is absolutely wickedly endearing.
Snow White and the Huntsman is the seriously epic tale of good vs.evil, dark and light, beauty and horror. As the Evil Queen’s self-serving beauty and rigid control begin to slip, we see her descend ever farther into depravity and madness. The height and depth of her personal splendor is represented as she goes from the pure white wholeness of her deep milk bath — from which she rises in radiant health and beauty — to a dark, glutinous, unwholesome-looking mud pool from which she slithers in a devolved and shiveringly evil persona. To say that Charleze Theron stole the show in this movie is to grossly understate. Her savage rages make the audience quell along with the unhappy characters on-screen.
The two Snow Whites, Kristen Stewart and Lily Collins, are as different as the two cinematic renditions of the fairy tale. Kristen Stewart, best known for The Twilight Saga, didn’t quite live up to the role as princess turned warrior. There were times when she looked like a young Leonardo DeCaprio in drag — or rather feminine armor. Anyway, it was most disconcerting. My droll husband, who has yet to see the movie, stuck that tongue in his cheek and said, “Was she THAT pretty?”
Lilly Collins on the other hand played her part straight, as in looking like a girl — huge flouncy skirts and all — wielding a sword. The dwarfs did manage to get her an appropriate fighting outfit, which only managed to accentuate her feminine attributes.
Though all the actors are “good” in Snow White and the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth is always worth watching), Charleze as the evil Queen Eleanor is the only one with some real depth. She has risen from a childhood of poverty and abuse to a woman of wealth and power by her bewitching beauty – a beauty she will barter the world and her soul to keep. But a surprising satellite character who managed to grasp some of the evil limelight is the queen’s brother Finn, played by Sam Spruell. A very memorable character who didn’t hesitate to do the queen’s bidding.
The others were not given nearly enough character “DNA” to be any stronger than they were. I was looking forward to the dwarves in Snow White and the Huntsman, but they didn’t come into the picture until halfway through the movie. There was not enough character development. The dwarves in Mirror Mirror were given their full due and were thoroughly enjoyable. Both movies are well worth watching, but for me, Mirror Mirror had a slight edge on the competition.
These are the REAL dwarves of Mirror Mirror. The “movie magic dwarves” of Snow White and the Huntsman were miniaturized big people, which hasn’t set well with the fine actors who actually are little people.