Review of 'Mirrormask'

mirrormask.jpg Wow. A complete mind-trip. Don't watch if you are not into bizarre, culturally intriguing films.

Helena is the daughter of a husband and wife that run a circus. When her mother is taken to hospital Helena retreats into a dream-like fantasy world where her darker half takes over in the real-world. With the help of Valentine, another lost soul, she seeks the “Mirrormask” which promises to put everything right. They travel across the world attempting to escape the clutches of the dark “Queen of Shadows” encountering many unusual characters and situations.

he world of “Mirrormask” is brought to surreal life with it's stunning mixture of fairly abstract line drawing and believable characters. Stephanie Leonidas as Helana brings the right mixture of a teenager suffering growing pains along with the youthful sense of wonder – All very believably portrayed. It is also refreshing to see that Rob Brydon, playing Helena's financially troubled father is more than just his television humourous straight-man personna but an actual actor sensitively connecting with his hot-headed daughter. The relationship to the mother (Gina McKee) is a bit more tenuous as they are never really together in the movie as she is quickly moved from the cirus to the hospital but McKee makes a wonderful turn as the Queen of Shadows, accurately putting across the idea that any “evil” perceived by Helena is actually only her perception – The Queen is only interested in the welfare of her child (though to the cost of everything else). A sensitive performance of a series of difficult roles (mother, Queen of Light – though comatose, and Queen of Shadows).

A mix of computer animation and traditional story telling Mirrormask is, quite unfortunately, an overlooked jewel in the wasteland that is modern cinema. Fantastic images, characters and places are brought to life in dream-like fashion – What cinema is best at. Hard to believe that the budget was so small but that only adds to the innovation and uniqueness of this movie.

Certainly not to everyone's taste, I found Mirrormask an interesting, if not completely riveting, movie and one definitely worth a watch.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2007-12-30

Directed by: Dave McKean

Studio: Destination Films

Year: 2006

Length: 97 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure