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Snow White: virtuous beauty or dark heroine?

5th April 2012

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Yesterday, I was sat talking to my dad about the latest releases at the cinema.The conversation turned to the new Snow White film, with my dad mentioning that he thought Julia Roberts was interesting choice for the Queen, whilst I thought stony-faced Kristen Stewart was the last person I’d cast as virtuous Snow White.

However, neither of us actually remembered the other actress cast in the role, and after a bit of digging, it soon became apparent that we were actually talking about two completely different films that deal with the Snow White fairy tale.

The films, in fact, could not be more different, and it takes only a quick look at the trailers to discover just that.

Mirror Mirror, with Julia Roberts as the Queen and Lily Collins (Phil Collins' daughter) as Snow White, deals with the more light-hearted themes of the tale. Take a look at the promotional poster and you could be mistaken for thinking that Julia Roberts was supposed to be the good character – her auburn, glittery hair quite a contrast with the familiar poisoned apple.

On the other side of the spectrum comes Snow White and the Huntsman, and on first glance, you could be mistaken for thinking that the poster advertises a good old-fashioned war film. The portrayal of the Queen seems to be somewhat more traditional, but all traces of Snow White’s yellow and blue attire have been well and truly replaced with something somewhat tougher.

One thing both films are keen to stress is that they will not be just a remake of the traditional telling – humorous Mirror Mirror claims to be “the untold adventures of Snow White”, whilst a short synopsis cites a “twist in the story" in Snow White and the Huntsman.

It is undoubtedly a massive risk to bring such similar movies to the big screen within the space of two months.

Mirror Mirror, released on 2nd April, comes out two months before its darker counterpart on 1st June.  Whether it will fuel excitement for the later or extinguish the flame is still up for debate. All that is left to do is wait and see whether the dark drama, or the light-hearted comedy will rule supreme.

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