Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Very Different "Mirror Mirror" Review

Maharani Gayatri Devi - in a Bollywood piece
While "Mirror Mirror" is being received fairly well, I've seen more criticism than appreciation, the main feeling that there is an overall blandness to the retelling, despite the lush design.

Here is a completely different review by Tyler Cowen (and it's so short I will include it all, but be sure to go read the many comments made in response on the linked site):
Not often does Hollywood put out movies romanticizing tyrannicide and the assassination of foreign leaders of friendly countries, in this case India.  Julia Roberts is the wicked Queen, witch, and false pretender, but actually the stand-in for Indira Gandhi, with an uncanny resemblance of look and dress in the final scene (I wonder if anyone told her?).  This movie presents a romanticized and idealized version of how her assassination should have proceeded and should have been processed, namely in a triumphal manner with no reprisals but rather celebration and joyous union and love.  As the plot proceeds, you will find all sorts of markers of Sikh theology, including numerous references to daggers, hair, mirrors, water, immersions, submersions, bodily penetrations, transformations, the temple at Amritsar, dwarves who enlarge themselves, and the notion of woman as princess, among many others; director Tarsem Singh knows this material better than I do (read up on Sikh theology before you go, if you haven’t already).  The silly critics complained that the plot didn’t make sense, but from the half dozen or so reviews I read they didn’t even begin to understand the movie.
Without wishing to take sides on either the politics or the religion, I found this a daring and remarkable film.  The sad thing is that no one is paying attention.
You can read the article and the comments HERE.

Interestingly he's not the only one who's made the connection. This article HERE lays out the parallels step by step. The article is titled (It breaks the parallels down step by step and has images to boot.)

It may seem simplistic when put like this but if Director Tarsem Singh was indeed making such a statement then they may be a lot more to this movie than meets the eye.
Maharani Gayatri Devi

Indira Ghandi
Please note: I have not verified the facts as they're presented in either article. I'm just very interested in the idea that a fairly modern day Indian princess and ruler can be so closely compared to Snow White.

I'm not planning on discussing politics on my blog, nor can I make any sort of proper assessment of this parallel but it is an interesting one.

Though I don't know enough about Indira Ghandi or Gayatri Devi to make any sort of comment on their assessments, I know enough to understand how Mr. Cowen and the other blogger, whose name I can't confirm, have made the connection.

 After waning interest in seeing this film, my curiosity is once again piqued...


  1. The eyebrows are a close match. They could be on to something...

  2. I definitely enjoyed the movie even with a few silly scenes that seemed to cater to children. The costumes and sets made for great eye candy, especially the royal ball scene. If you're not sure about seeing, you might want to wait for it to come out on video but I would still recommend that you watch it sometime.

  3. Hey Gipsy, Natasha from F*Yeah Fairy Tales tumblr here. That is quite a review. Once you start thinking about the visual cues and some of the plot strategies (why should the Queen emerge from water?), it makes sense that there might some reference to some non-western mithology. It wouldn't be the first time Tarseem Singh does something of the sort. Have you seen The Fall?

    By the way, I wrote a small review of "Mirror, Mirror" in my tumblr, in light of the "Snow White in Armor" thing you know I have a problem with. Here's the link, if you want to check it out: