1: a misleading image presented as a visual stimulus
2 a : perception of something objectively existing in such a way as to cause misinterpretation of its actual nature; especially : optical illusion—compare delusion
2 b : hallucination
2 c : a pattern capable of reversible perspective
One rather obvious thought that had come to my husband and I was the illusion all throughout the film. Of course anyone who knows the Snow White story understands the "magic mirror" plays a large part. I thought it was brilliant to bring more of that idea out the way they did with the Queen.
The Queen married the King to take his kingdom and everything else as mentioned in Part 1. It was interesting to see how she did it; as it was merely an illusion. Later in the film she says, "I have lived twenty lifetimes." Yet, she is portrayed (most of the time) as a beautiful young (ish) woman, also an illusion that other women have had to pay for with their own beauty.
She has the power to have both a real army, but also an army that is an illusion (fabulous military tactic). The army of illusion is made of black mirror shards. They appear to be just black knights, but when you get too close...even killing one of them could kill you as we all know, shards can be deadly. It also was interesting that the mirror shards were black as she also worked with shadows. Mirrors and shadows work quite well for the experienced illusionist.
Even Snow Whites death was an illusion. Death that is not an illusion cannot be broken by a charm or spell. Real death is just that...death. When she awoke, she awoke as someone that did not start decomposing, but rather as someone who had just been sleeping. Yet, this deception had fooled everyone, even those who cared most about her. Thank goodness they choose not to dispose of the body right away.
Through the whole film, the Queen must weave deeper and more intricately; hijacking minds and holding them captive in her web of illusion. Her beauty, strength, and power were all an illusion. It was an illusion as nothing was actually hers. Her strength was actually fear, her beauty was stolen from others and her power came from the mirror (and most likely was stolen).
I believe what really made me think about this was the fact that nearly everything in modern western culture is an illusion. We are sold on the idea that comfort, pleasure and ease will make us happy, when really they are just stimulants for greed and unrest. Most of us have become so out of touch with reality that we rely on the weatherman to tell us how to dress, other people to tell us what is good for our children and governments to tell us what food we can eat. Modern western culture is reality television for the rest of the world (complete with the whining and drama), we are a mere illusion of what humanity once was and we are working hard on forcing it on the rest of the world.