2012, Snow Storms on Screen: Mirror Mirror reflecting the performance of Snow White
by Saeed Hussain — Birmingham City University
August 10, 2012 – 00:00
Within both television and film, 2012 has been a year evidently saturated with texts reappropriating the Brothers Grimm fable of Snow White. These have ranged from Once Upon A Time on television (ABC/Channel 51, 2012) to cinema releases including Mirror Mirror (Relativity Media, 2012) all of which have offered an interpretation of the fairy tale princess for audiences to consider. How can it be said that 75 years after the release of the Walt Disney production, that any screen based representation of Snow White can have resonances with a contemporary audience? Have we become too familiar with the reboot of this tale to gain meaning from any issues in representation conveyed to us through the visual medium? Or is it that this proliferation of Snow White over the years has resulted in the audience just accepting Snow White as an established part of fable community and do not challenge what they are presented with?
I pose these questions within this piece as I cannot honestly offer one simple answer to solve all. Each is dependent upon the extent to which an audience member has been exposed to a previous text. Also it is a valid point to remember that Snow White is a tale predominantly aimed at children, so it may be continuously translated on screen in order to appeal to the next generation and their viewing tastes. Mirror Mirror offers an alternative, non traditional approach to the fairy tale which is demonstrated in this clip through the heightened sense of performance within the pre closing credits sequence. The intricate and exaggerated choreography to convey the emotion and lyrics incorporated with Bollywood style moves are heightened by the use of aerial and long shots allowing the audience to see the entire performed decadence of the scene. In addition the song "I Believe in Love" has a stylistically Indian music bed which suggests that this is a contemporary text utilising elements of the musical and Bollywood film genres to achieve a sense of uniqueness for audiences to enjoy. It is on that note I would like to conclude this commentary with the best open ended discussion line for you to consider: Mirror Mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of them all?
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