Written by: FFT Webmaster | April 1st, 2012
OUT OF 4
Director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (“The Cell,”, “The Fall”, “Immortals”) has created an inventive, visually stunning post-modern retelling of the Grimm Brothers’ Snow White. The film plays as a comic farce and high energy action adaptation which both amuses and intrigues.
The basic story points in the classic Snow White are left intact by screenwriters Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller but are rendered freshly through satirical deliveries. Playing Snow White is the cute and alluring Lilly Collins (daughter of superstar musician Phil Collins) whose 18th birthday has come and gone without note by the evil and cunning Queen Clementianna played enthusiastically with a flawed British accent by the aging movie star Julia Roberts. The Queen is portrayed as an avaricious and vain dictator who impoverishes her loyal subjects (the 99%) with onerous taxes and curmudgeonly behavior.
Like the Hollywood movie star she really is, the evil queen wants to remain beautiful forever and due to declining revenues in her kingdom decides to marry the much younger and hunky Prince Alcott(a wonderful Armie Hammer)who comes from wealth and royal lineage. The Prince, who early on in the tale has an entanglement with the roguish seven dwarves, has met and fallen for the beautiful Snow but the clever queen wins him over with a puppy love potion slipped into his drink at a royal party held at the castle. This sequence is silly but leads us into an action, adventure illusionist finale which satisfies and ties up the loose ends of this children’s story.
Tarsem Singh’s remarkable art direction makes sequences come to life that are held back by strained whimsy in the scripting. The costume designs by Elko Ishioka are exquisite and the Bollywood-style song-and-dance sequence during the closing credits makes you feel so good that it’s worth the price of admission all by itself.