Snow White And The Huntsman
If you think you know the story, you are mistaken. You may recognize elements of the original, but Snow White and the Huntsman is a dark take on the classic Grimm and Disney fairytale. I had actually forgotten the finer details, like the apple, the dwarves, the mirror and the kiss – so basically the whole story. If you need a refresher and a brief outline on the new stance read on, if not, feel free to skip the next two paragraphs.
A noble queen sees three drops of blood fall onto snow and wishes for a daughter who is as fair as snow, had lips as red as a rose and is strong as a thorn. Enter Snow White (Kristen Stewart), the princess of Tabor. Years later, Snow’s mother dies leaving her father, King Magnus (Noah Huntley) full of grief. While fighting an army of dark and mysterious soldiers, he lays eyes on Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and marries her a day later, without realizing he has married a man-hating sorcerer who kills him, locks up Snow and turns the whole of his kingdom into a horrific hell. When Snow becomes of age, she takes the place of ‘fairest of them all’, as well as the only way to free Ravenna from her fate and give her immortality. All Ravenna needs to do is consume her heart. However, Snow manages to escape and attempt to flee to Duke Hammond’s castle, where she will find protection. This infuriates Ravenna and sends the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) into the Dark Forrest to find her. After meeting Snow, the Huntsman realizes his wrong doings and attempts to help the Princess fulfill her destiny.
I had heard a few bad things about it so went in with a low expectation, and was pleasantly surprised by the first half. Theron’s acting was strong and powerful, albeit a bit creepy. I love the confidence in her beauty that allows her to look really scary from time to time. Visually, if was a tasty buffet. The costuming, effects and art direction were all exquisite. I was particular fond of Ravenna’s intricate garments.
However, the audio seemed overdone, with attempts to create drama and suspense, falling flat on it’s face and the second-half left me wondering if it would be ok to pop out for a bathroom break. Although Kirsten Stewart plays a stronger princess than the one from Disneyland, she isn’t the strong valiant hero that the posters lead you to believe. In fact, she was exactly the same character she has played in every other film – the damsel-in-distress that does more forced breathing than talking. There were cringeworthy cheesy parts, like when Snow White gives an awful motivational speech to inspire an army to rise up agains the Queen, that made me think I’d taken a De Lorean back to the 90s. That cheese just doesn’t work in 2012.
It could not have been easy to come up with a new spin on an age-old tale but they manage to have a fresh and interesting take on it, with familiar elements, like the dwarves who provide the humor and some of the best lines in the film. Having said that, it does seems like a tired mix of Narnia, Thor, Twilight and Lord of the Rings. Hemsworth swings an axe instead of a hammer, two guys are after a girl who doesn’t know what she wants, they go on a long journey through differing mythical places and there’s a strange Aslan like character, with crazy branches for horns. The story is rushed and the characters are shallow. You’re left wondering how they’re going to tie up the ending so everyone lives happily ever after, but at the same time you don’t really care because of the lack of connection to the characters. In fact, at the end the story seems incomplete, as if trying to set-up a sequel that you don’t much care about.
Despite all my negativity I found Snow White and the Huntsman entertaining and charming, especially the parts with Hemsworth 😉 But it is not destined to become a classic like its predecessors that are still watched and re-watched by women (and some men) of all ages.
Reviewed by: Nerice Collins