ByKendra Hale, writer at

MirrorMask. Upon reflection of the title before even viewing the movie, you would think of the absolute obvious subtext. A mirrored mask. Writer Neil Gaiman takes it even further then that. Mirrormask is an illusion of ones self. Of the good and bad inside of each of us. Of those times that each of us can relate to on a memory lane level.

In the beginning we are introduced to Helena a young girl who is coming of age at her Father and Mothers circus. We watched the interaction between the two women as we are shown a young girl full of imagination who wants nothing more than to be a normal girl. Or what she perceives as such a life. She enters a disagreement with her mom culminating into words that cannot be taken back.

We watch as the scenes lead to the circus and we see the acts as they take place. Her mother's cue hits as Helena and her Father do a juggling act where the pun of the act is a gorilla coming out as the jugglers start to juggle bananas. After a full delay, she finally appears and the crowd goes wild.

Of course it isn't until after the curtain closes that we find out that is in fact not Ms. Campbell but another of the circus performers ensuring that the show does in fact go on. We see Helena's Mom being taken off to the hospital in an ambulance.

Now fast fowarding a bit we see as the two, Helena and her Mom talk to one another in the hospital, Helena with a card bearing "I'm Sorry" and her Mom looking about as frail and weak as one can get. Her Mother tries to comfort Helena by repeating the phrase that Helena is a good girl, before Helena is called off by a nurse.

Given the fact that Helena's mother must stay in the hospital the rest of the circus performers are back at her Aunt's home discussing the fate of the circus. Most are loyal to the circus but there are those who know they have to move on and earn money in order to keep going. In all of this they find out that an operation for her Mother is coming that evening.

Not to give the whole story away but things escalate from there, we see the interactions from Helena and her Dad, and the continuing showing of the world Helena has created. Sorrow ridden for what had happened between her and her mother Helena goes to her room where we see the amazing world that she has created ad it begins to come to life in her dreamscapes. We watch the struggle between her pain for what she said to her mom and the greatest fear she has, losing her.

When she wakes she has been transported to the world of her dreams, of her drawings, of her creation. Thus begins the real journey. As she makes her way through the twisting and turning world of absolutely stunning scenes, she meets a fellow juggler Valentine. He is to be her cohort in this world where everyone wears a mask to conceal their faces.

We see them as they run from a creeping darkness that comes at them, swallowing whole two of the group she had met. On the path through this world we meet Sphinxes, flying books that only do so when they feel they are no longer wanted and struggle to fly back to the library, crazy cat ladies, and see the world through the eyes of a young girl. The way only she can see it. We see her story continue as she learns the tale of a sleeping queen and a lost princess who is tired of being controlled by her mother so has taken measures to leave that life behind.

An amazing tale of the inner debate within each of us Gaiman finds a way to bring to life, beautifully and artistically, a brief moment in which a bare fleeting glimpse of the soul is revealed. A movie that makes you think, giggle, and honestly feel for all of the character s in it, it gets a rare 10 out of 10 from me. Expertly written and honestly a direct translation from the book, a good film to watch again and again.


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