In the grand tradition of the German Expressionists and modern visualists Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillermo del Toro comes MIRRORMASK, a beautifully distorted fairy tale from director Dave McKean. Helena escapes to a twisted dreamworld after her mother is admitted to the hospital, a world of light and dark where The White Queen is held captive under an evil spell, and can only be saved by an enchanted charm: the MirrorMask. With the help of a new friend, Helena must search through the forbidden realm of The Queen of Shadows in order to find the charm and stop the ruin of this strange new world, but her enemies are many, and they look to deliver her to their wicked leader. MIRRORMASK's remarkable style and design resulted from the combined efforts of McKean and the Jim Henson team that had previously been responsible for other epic fantasies like LABYRINTH and THE DARK CRYSTAL. The City of Light and The Land of Shadows are inhabited by odd, misshapen creatures, while the buildings and landscapes are wrought from elaborate dreams and nightmares. McKean uses muted tones to signify reality, and then brightens his brushstrokes with exquisite colors as Helena enters into her fantasy world. He then extracts all forms of color as the shadows drain the land of its life. Unfortunately, the film attempts to hide its many gaping holes in character, story structure, and mythology behind a radiant exterior. These things are quickly forgotten as one immerses themselves fully in MIRRORMASK's brilliant visuals and bewildering dream logic.
If you liked MIRRORMASK, check out:
CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, RE-CYCLE, INK.