Sort of happily ever after
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- Tamil Nadu police bans Yasin Malik-linked pro-Eelam public meeting
- Kings XI Punjab end IPL 2013 campaign with a win
- Narendra Modi: India losing sheen as agricultural nation
Hollywood's fascination with 'rebooted' fairy tales is a sign of the times
Tarsem Singh's Mirror, Mirror, out last weekend, is a wink-wink nudge-nudge sly adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the classic fairy tale re-imagined as a self-reflexive comedy, and it is at least marginally amusing, right up until the moment that — spoiler alert! — Snow White breaks into a bhangra-infused pop number at the very end. It's far from the only fairy tale receiving the movie treatment — Snow White herself will return, with Kristen Stewart in the titular role moping around more pine forests, though this time as a warrior princess rather than limp vampire chew toy. Her Snow White looks like it has eschewed the comedy in favour of a more Christopher Nolan-influenced take on things: dark and serious.
Indeed, a look through Hollywood's upcoming offerings reveals a whole new trend: take a classic old fairy story and reinterpret it so it makes lots of money. Last year we had Red Riding Hood re-imagined as a medieval costume drama, complete with a scenery-chewing Gary Oldman as an anti-lycan priest and earnest metaphors about desire, sexuality and the moon, along with a modern-day update of Beauty and the Beast, imaginatively titled Beastly. Neither film was a critical or commercial success, but that hasn't stopped studio executives from running with the idea. They might have drawn heart from Grimm and Once Upon A Time, television shows that premièred last fall and went on to become modest hits. Because sometimes the straw does turn into gold, and you don't even need to give up your first-born.
So there's yet another Snow White in production, this time with Chinese monks as the seven dwarves. There's a couple of Sleeping Beautys, one starring Angelina Jolie as a presumably misunderstood evil queen. And although it could be argued that Cinderella stories are Hollywood's stock-in-trade, the original ultimate rags-to-riches story will get two adaptations. There are also multiple Peter Pans in the offing, a live-action Little Mermaid, and new versions of Jack and the Beanstalk and Hansel and Gretel, where the latter are all grown-up and on the road hunting down others like their childhood tormentors. What's bringing this turn to la-la land? Why are Hollywood executives suddenly so enthused by bedtime stories about Prince Charmings and evil sorceresses who deserve all the terrible things that happen to them?
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