Mirror Mirror -- Review


Almost from the start you feel the director's efforts to please the audience's key and only regal lady -- the blossoming young woman, traditionally picked on by patriarchy, and whose current allegiance guarantees you status as a modern man that gets to lubricate with subservience but without any contestation, the way ahead -- and so the Queen's proclamation that it is her story being told is really understood as falsehood, pretty much moment one.  The film pleases those who are pleased when people fuss effort over them -- and much effort is fussed here.  It is to update Grimm, but with every particular summoned, dissipated for its patriarchy, chill, bigotry, and anti-democratic sentiment.  But with enough kept of at least the protector man so the tentative, growing girl gets the expected satisfaction of feeling notably special, as well as the sure companionship of someone to serve as the adroit male draught horse who's to accompany her along and familiarize her with, life's unsteadying rush of dramatic new impulses.  And also too, to have us forget about all that servile mechanism-pulling, curtain-raising / closing, young Queen-pacifying sweat and stress -- to lose sight of the chamberlain -- and simply enjoy the movie.  
If there is dissent in the movie, some measure of the not fully accounted for that could maybe one day locate ruin upon all that's been claimed, it's not the late arrival of the ostensible penultimate grim moment -- the Queen's sly bequeathing of the ruinous poisoned apple; that thunder had already been claimed by the Queen's surprise popping up into Dwarvish denizens to introduce the Beast to Snow White, a silly, appropriately ill-defined entity doomed as much as everyone else to register the princess's bequest.  Rather, it's the Queen's isolated mirror-retreat, which way trumps the dwarfs' made-to-be-domesticated forest composure to serve as an impenetrable man-cave in the film, and which at the end no one but the old Queen is aware of.
To be more clear:  This film showed "Brave" in the previews, where the great opponent to spirited young-intelligent-girl-assent is not boys, nor Father, but very clearly pissed-off Mother; and it seems pretty clear to me that if one is to look most clearly for dissent from men in this era of female appeasement, it's going to be located in the safer armor of older lady garb.  In this film, her remaining retreat is, if slight, and hardly even still clearly aligned to her, still the only remaining antidote to the princess's chilling final conquestorial gesture and proprietary dance and song at her absolutely-everyone-now dominion of the realm.  

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