Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Movie Review: Mirrormask (2005)










Starring:  Stephanie Leonidas, Jason Barry, Rob Brydon and Gina McKee

Genre: Horror / Fantasy / Friendship

Company:  The Jim Henson Company and Destination Films

Directed by: Dave McKean

Year: 2005

MPAA Rating / TV Rating: Rated PG – For Some Mild Thematic Elements and Scary Images.

The film starts off with a young girl named Helena Campbell, whose family runs a circus and she is one of the performers.  Unfortunately, Helena wanted to run away from the circus to live a normal life and when she tried to tell this to her mother, they ended up getting into a huge argument to the point where Helena wished something terrible happens to her mother.  When the family gets ready for their big circus performance, Helena's mother ends up fainting on stage and she is immediately rushed to the hospital.  It turns out that Helena's mother needs to undergo an operation to survive and Helena and her father worry for the mother, especially Helena as she felt bad for saying horrible things to her mother before.  During the night, Helena ends up going into a dreamlike state and she stumbles upon a surreal world that seems to mirror her own world except that everything seems like it came out of her drawings.  There, she meets an odd man who constantly wears a mask named Valentine and it was then that they discovered that the world is in chaos because the Princess of Shadows ends up stealing a charm from the City of Light and the White Queen ends up being in a coma, which allows the Queen of Shadows to take over the City of Light.  So, Helena and Valentine ended up going on a journey to retrieve the missing charm before it is too late!


Now, I will admit that even though I have read many of Neil Gaiman's works, I had never heard of this movie before, until just recently and I must admit that I really enjoyed this movie a lot!  What was the most interesting thing to me about this movie was that the drawings that Helena had drawn throughout the film was none other than Dave McKean's drawings, who was well known for doing a lot of the artwork for Neil Gaiman's books!  I loved the way that the drawings provided a haunting and surreal atmosphere for the film as I found myself either being memorized by the imagery (the scenes with the City of Lights were beautiful) or being frightened by the imagery (the scenes with the sphinx cats really creep me out). I also loved the fact that this film is somewhat of a spiritual successor to "Labyrinth," another film from the Jim Henson Company, as both films dealt with the main character having problems with their families and once they enter another world, they have to save the people who resemble their family members from whatever dark force happens to come upon them.  The actors and the actresses in this film were fantastic, with my favorite character being Valentine as he was played wonderfully by Jason Barry and he really brought so much humor to the film.  I also loved Stephanie Leonidas' portrayal of Helena as she is shown to be a spunky girl who doesn't seem to be afraid of the frightening world she ends up in and it really makes me get into her character.


The only problem that I had with this film was that the story tend to get a little confusing at times to the point where I don't exactly know what is quite going on with the characters.  Like for instance, the movie didn't really explain about what kind of condition Helena's mother had that caused her to go to the hospital in the first place and even though it wouldn't be a major part of the film, I still would like to know what kind of disease Helena's mother had that would be so dangerous to her health.

Overall, "Mirrormask" is a fantastic and surreal film that anyone who is a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's works or surreal movies in general will definitely enjoy for many years to come!


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