Sunday, July 29, 2012

Food For Thought: Mirror, Mirror

Every Friday night, our family has what we call "Pizza/Movie Night", which is simply a night where all of us commit (or we commit ourselves, as the kids have no choice!) to staying in on Friday night and making it a night just for us. I make home-made pizza, and we pick a family-friendly movie that we will all enjoy...and that's a tough assignment. This week, we were discussing Mirror, Mirror, which just came out on DVD not too long ago. It features Julia Roberts (who I love) as the evil queen, and the trailers seemed cute, so we looked up the movie reviews. I thought it was really interesting how the reviewer wrote the "Positive Elements" section of the review:

Mirror Mirror, based very loosely on the Grimm Brothers fairy tale, comes equipped with a nice, albeit obvious, moral: Looks can be deceiving.

For eons, we've associated beauty with goodness, and our preoccupation with how we look, I think, reflects that: The better we look, we figure (often subconsciously), the more people will like us—and the more worthy we'll be of their regard.

Audiences who see Mirror Mirror will see a queen who is a very pretty woman, but isn't particularly likable. She works quite hard to make herself beautiful (even getting bees to sting her lips so they'll plump up), but we see it all for what it really is: vain, shallow pointlessness. Her beauty can't disguise the ugliness inside.

And the theme of what's inside not matching what's outside doesn't stop with the Evil Queen. Everyone seems to be concealing something in Mirror Mirror—even from themselves. It's a reflection of how none of us are quite the people we see in our own mirrors. The film's seven dwarfs (not a disparaging term in this context, I'd assume) wear collapsible stilts to appear taller and more intimidating. But when we get to know them, we see that their smallish bodies hide reservoirs of strength and goodness. A fearsome forest beast turns out to be something else entirely—and something far better than we suspected. Even Renbock, faithful steward of the story's handsome Prince Andrew Alcott, is revealed to wear padding underneath his clothes to make him look stronger.

Looks can be deceiving, can't they...even for the one who looks in the mirror.

The two most interesting points made here to me were these:
1) The better we look, we figure (often subconsciously), the more people will like us--and the more worthy we'll be of their regard.
2) No one's physical beauty can disguise the ugliness inside.

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