“MIRROR MIRROR” the movie is a loadful of family-fun, so it is safe to bring everybody.
It is a hilarious retelling of the GRIMM BROTHERS’ fairy tale, of SNOW WHITE the legendary princess.
LILY COLLINS the young actress who takes on the title role is oh-so-sweet.
She’ s a new beauty to gawk at with her thick luscious eye brows that might stir in you the feeling in you that she could be bushy in parts.
And gorgeous JULIA ROBERTS flares her large nostrils and enormous mouth with smirk, glee and pure wickedness, as she tackles an opportunistical verbal stab now and then – at the present day governmental politics, with a slew of other self-deprecating jokes extolling womankind’s vanity and insecurity.
She clearly shows us that she is indeed having a whale of a time.
ARMIE HAMMER the personable lead actor plays a goofish and sometimes, nerdy Prince Alcott.
Intended to or not, he provides some comic relief.
The fabled seven dwarfs are portrayed as pint-sized gutsy bandits who rob for a living.
Film director TARSEM SINGH is Indian of course, and he’s very much into his element when he bestows the audience with a cute rollicking Bollywood dancey number as the credits roll at the end, so much so that the audience is grooving and goofing it all up with sheer reluctance to leave the cinema.
TARSEM dresses the movie in fine style, with a dash of raw humor and intelligent quibbling. There’s fluff, there’s buff, aligned with a sound balance.
This is the premise that kicks the movie an octave leap above the clutter and the din.
What works is the imagery-filled execution.
Take note that from the fantastical landscape to the derelict village to the foreboding forest, most scenes are fabricated in a set-bound environment.
There are stunning elements, chiefly among them the dazzling colorful costumes worn by JULIA ROBERTS and LILY COLLINS a la fashion extravaganza.
The sum of it all is, here’s a jolly old tale with a smart,enjoyable retelling.
A brimming PICTURE of PERFECTION can be MARRED by internal TURMOIL.
IMAGINE this scenario:
You are indoors and outside it’s pelting heavily.
Showers can be a pretty sight to behold.
The darting raindrops hit against the glass window, putting on an impressive display as they form creative circles of droplets.
A Barry Manilow ballad booms from a pair of stereo speakers at the far corner of the room.
Out on the porch a pair of wind chimes are vibrating against the breeze.
You espy a small river nearby, and the waters are glistening in last yawn of twilight.
The sight is therapeutic, instilling the sudden spurts of thoughts on living and loving as they are brought to mind.
Aren’t these inseparable companions?
MIKE DOOLEY says it all in this poem:
“If you just look
at all that already exists in your life,
all that you already have: unlimited air to breathe, ample lighting to see, music to hear, books to read, stars to dream by, trees to gaze at, floors to dance on, friends to cavort with, enemies to befriend, strangers to meet,
woods to walk through, beaches to comb, rocks to scale, rains to cleanse you, rivers to float you, animals to comfort you, you do have to admit, there’s more of it than you could ever, ever, ever spend.
But try anyway.”
We make a choice when we allow our thoughts to become us.
He’s Hong Kong cult film-maker, a master of controversies, a determined builder on his brand of art-house flicks who faces a constant barricade of snooty hypocrites along the way.
He battles on, he has his legion of faithful followers worldwide.
So what if his films often uncovers unbridled indulgence and the darker side of romance?
Just stay away if you are a prude.
SCUD tackles the unbold and challenges the pretentious.
But he will not compromise his beliefs.
He proudly struts his stuff and his body of work borders a fine line between cultural sensitivity and arty politics.
Thought-provoking they may be, but they are stylized with allegorical themes.
You don’t have to look hard to trace a brooding sense of loneliness as he ushers us into his landscape of surrealism, where he goes beyond the rules of artistry reality.
His latest offering LOVE ACTUALLY SUCKS is highly commercial, not just for its graphic nature, but for the speculation that some of the performers were actually full-on doing it in the film.
“It’s real,” affirms SCUD with a wink.
“You can’t please everybody. I am in the stage of life where I know what I am doing and care little about reactions,” he beams, warming up to the audience adulations and fan celebrations.
His latest offering is “LOVE ACTUALLY SUCKS” where he strikes a gong on the intricate subject of love, sex and decadence.
The film opens on a shocking albeit eye-peeling wedding attended by all the leads in the film.
Metaphorically, every principal guest “wears” a mask, each with an inner story to tell.
You need to strip off the outer layers to extract the hidden, twisted edges of romance:
- a painter who has more than his palette in mind when he develops lustful feelings for his models.
- a fitness trainer who has a roving eye for young flesh.
- a lesbian couple whose relationship is put to test when they confront surrealistic versus real life issues.
- a brother who develops more than brotherly affection for his sister.
- a deadly love triangle that results in a tragic decapitation.
- a young male dance instructor who goes beyond waltzing with his amorous female older student.
All six parables are based on true life cases.
“LOVE ACTUALLY SUCKS” opens in Hong Kong cinemas on 29th March, 2012.
1. Love Actually Sucks explores… the reality of love and a “darker” side of romance. What is it about these things that struck a chord with you or attracted you to the project?
I’ve often been asked by audiences why I don’t write a happier ending to my films, and my answer is always: “I would if I’ve ever seen one”.
My parents set a perfectly bad example to relationship when both my brother and I were still small. I’ve then also been a typical loser in love affairs myself therefore sad (not necessarily bad) romance always resonate with me.
2. Going into the project, was there a certain “effect” or “reaction” you wanted from audiences?
People are use to the perception that everybody does everything for a purpose, but I don’t have one, and that’s why I’m so often misunderstood. I want nothing from my audiences except that they’d have something to think about walking out of the cinemas, apart from where to eat and drink.
I think I’m already in the stage of life that I know what I’m doing and care little about reactions.
3. Has that ever changed or evolved over the course of filming and post-production?
4. Love Actually Sucks is an antipode to the typical, overdone “romantic comedy” movie. By providing stark contrast to the common light-hearted love story, what did you wish to achieve?
I guess I’ll fill a gap or balance things out a bit. The odd for a real life love to be successful is way less than that shown in mainstream, commercial films, after all, so I’m like giving love a fair assessment.
5. What exactly do you think really sets this film apart from others that also discuss the concept of love?
Should a love be judged by the outcome? Must there be a moral standard in love of any kind? Should love be celebrated like life anyway, no matter how it goes? “Love actually…sucks!” is not the only film about sad romance but it’s about 6 of them, and depicts them in the most explicit way possible.
6. What responses or emotions does this movie evoke that others cannot or will not?
I can’t be sure about this but I find the graphic sex scenes and the crystal transparent thoughts of the roles have stunned many, even some liberal ones.
7. What specific message did you most want to express or “throw out there” with this film?
Love is life, life as it is.
Life is love, love as it is.
8. Society tends to just look the other way when something is taboo or “unconventional”. Did you wish to point out the big elephant(s) in the room or is that just a by product of a different goal?
I don’t have a specific goal such as this. The fact that my films happen to be taboo and cult is purely from my nature. I just can’t help it, even knowing it makes my film commercial suicide.
9. Why do you think “forbidden” love is so striking or captivating?
Men are born free. When something is banned, it’s usually a victim to serving someone else’s selfish purpose. I don’t think any love should be forbidden and the fact that so many of them are still nowadays angers me.
10. Love exists in a myriad of forms. How or why did you end up deciding to portray and examine the six relationships in the movie?
They’re all from real life, first of all. The spider had hit the headlines for quite sometime while the whole city searched for him who hides in the very place familiar to himself and no one else. The dance teacher case was also of very high profile. The painter/model story happened in Taiwan when I was promoting a film there, was amazed and intrigued to see the final verdict. The lesbian couple is inspired by my lady friends who may kill me when they see it. I am most touched and sympathetic with the brother and sister case, and that story also causes me most trouble with censorship and over a year of delay in releasing.
I added the opening, banquet scene in almost the last minute, after learning it from a friend who happened to be there. It was hailed as the most ridiculous opening ever in a film festival in US. I’ve been fed up with irony in life to the extent that I begin to like them.
11. Love Actually Sucks pushes the boundaries of the definition of “love” and challenges audiences to question what “love” really is. What aspects of these six stories do exactly that?
Love is breathtaking because it’s insane in nature. I reckon people not in love or in a more subdued, carefree relationship are happier most of the time, but yet some find passion the only thing worth living for.
I think when we fall in love it’s not because we think it’s the right thing to do. It’s not a job interview or home searching. Love just dawns on us and we’re actually dragged by it, even if knowing how much is at stake. Those are the kind of love in “Love actually…sucks!”, in stark contrast to the conventional relationship built upon material considerations more than anything. I personally don’t call those loves, just transactions.
12. All six romances were (arguably) doomed from the start. What is it about the “star crossed lover” that is perfect for what you are trying to say?
I would say ill-fated romances are usually more spectacular, and that’s when art should come in to represent them. Would love always prevail? Bullshit! But should love be judged by the outcome like almost everything else? Certainly not. However doomed it has been, one in love before has lived his life fuller.
13. On a personal level, how well do you connect or relate to your characters and the situations they are in?
When I was younger and in love, the magnitude could be like that experienced by the spider trio, and I’d find all the ways like the sister who loves her brother, and endure like the lesbian policewoman. As I grow older, I can sense the kind of helpless of the painter/trainer more, as the temptation of youth always take power. Eventually I think I’d resort to the loneliness of the Queen who can only live on memory and expectation of an after life.