Servant of the Secret Fire

Random thoughts on books and life in the reality-based community

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Location: New York, United States

The name I've chosen comes from "Lord of the Rings," when Gandalf faces down the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. My Hebrew name is Esther (which is related to the word for "hidden" or "secret") Serafina (which means "burning"). This seems appropriate because although I don't usually put myself forward, I do care very passionately about a lot of things. Maybe through these blogs I can share some of these passions, as well as less weighty ideas and opinions, with others.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Movie Review: Mirrormask

Mirrormask ****
Screenplay: Neil Gaiman
Starring: Stephanie Leonidas, Gina McKee Director: Dave McKean Rating: PG

Helena Campbell is an artistically talented teenager who is part of a circus family and wants to “run away to real life.” When her mother becomes seriously ill after they have an argument, she naturally feels responsible. During the night before her mother's major surgery, she wakes up in a weird, phantasmagoric land based on her own drawings, where the "balance has been upset" and the Queen of Light lies in a deathlike sleep as shadows destroy her kingdom. Only Helena, with the help of a rogue named Valentine, can wake the Queen, as well as returning to her own world, where an "anti-Helena" is wreaking havoc with her life, by finding a mysterious "charm."

There is obviously a lot of psychological symbolism in this film, but the creators are not in your face about it. I think that many people will recognize the portrayal of the inner turmoil that teenagers often face as they attempt to separate from their parents while still maintaining a loving relationship. Of course, betrayal, forgiveness and redemption are themes that will resonate with viewers of any age.

Not surprisingly, with the involvement of Neil Gaiman and Jim Henson Productions, the conception of the alternate reality, as well as its realization on film, is awesome.


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