I finally resigned myself to watching Snow White and the Huntsman tonight. At the price of £4.59 for an HD download via PS3 store, I thought, ‘Why not?’
Before I go into the who’s who list about the film, I would like to go on record as saying the movie looked beautiful. The locations, the costumes, the cinematography were top-notch. The effects were outstanding. The digitizing of Ian McShane and Ray Winstone and Nick Frost and company was disturbing and Charlize Theron was, at turns, beautiful, terrifying, mad and captivating.
Chris Hemsworth was brilliant as the huntsman, although I did keep waiting to see if Thor’s hammer was going to appear and make the whole fighting nonsense very one-sided. About the battles…The large ones looks brilliant and the smaller ‘up close’ ones were very well choreographed.
Directed by Rupert Sanders (who is perhaps better known as the chap who was ‘playing away’ with his leading lady, and I don’t mean the real leading lady Charlize Theron) and starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron Snow White and the Huntsman is a ‘re-imaging’ of the classic fairy tale Snow White.
In this verse Snow White is not beautiful on the outside (her mother helpfully tells little Snow and us that her true beauty lies within) and that her innocence and love and fairness are what makes her truly beautiful. Then mum dies and dad remarries the worst possible choice ever, Ravenna(Theron). Whilst in the middle of his performing his marital duties, Ravenna dispatches him before he really gets a chance to get started.
Ravenna’s private army (led by her despicable, but faithful, brother) slaughters everyone who cannot escape. Snow White attempts to escape but this is thwarted at the last possible moment. She is then thrown into a prison tower.
As if the punishment of having to grow up isolated in a prison tower were not enough, she is then turned into Kristen Stewart. If ever an actor’s name could be substituted for the word bland, Stewart should head the list of candidates.
The film tries very hard to convince us, the audience, that Stewart is a real threat to the beautiful Ravenna. It does keep harping back to the old ‘innocence’ line and how that will be the evil Queen‘s downfall. But despite all the helpful nods to Stewart’s beauty it just doesn’t work.
*in one hilarious moment, Snow White and company enter a fairy glade. All the fronds are dangling dejectedly toward the ground, the moment Snow White enters they all stretch skyward in their happiness. I’ve never seen such a phallic emphasis used to such great inadvertent comic effect.*
But despite the fact that I kept expecting Bella (Sorry, I mean Snow White) to call out for Edward, I never once found Stewart capable of showing that she was this loving, kind and ‘beautiful on the inside’ heroine that the script called for. To be fair though, the script did not call for an awful lot from Ms Stewart. Her lines as Snow White were sparse and, in true Stewart fashion, mumbled.
Everyone else in the film managed to knock their performances out of the park. But actors aside for a moment, the scenes in the Black Forest were to die for. I loved the hallucinogenic spores that were released by the mushrooms. The trees (that were pretty damn scary looking anyway) suddenly seemed terrifying and alive. The whole forest came alive and it looked brilliant.
I did not like the little back story that the script came up with for Ravenna. The old, “Well, she’s not really bad. Her mother only made her this way so she could survive the horrible massacre of her village and family (except for her brother). Rubbish! That’s right, I said it! Rubbish! I want my bigger than life villains to be bad dammit! Not justified!
Charlize Theron (who one critic accused of ‘over acting’ and listen Pally, if she looked like she was overacting, it was probably because of Stewart’s inability to convey anything resembling emotion) who could have been a Bond villain was so glorious in her badness it was a shame to see her lose at the end.
My daughter looked me in the eye at the end of the film and said, “Is is wrong that I wanted Ravenna to win?” I suppose that because the story was about Snow White the logical answer would be yes. But… But…
If we were not the only ones disappointed at Ravenna’s demise at the end of the film, surely that means either the script should have been more ‘Snow White’ oriented or perhaps Ms Stewart should not have been cast as the heroine of the film.
Of course now the entire world knows of the director’s and his ingenue’s extra-curricular activities and it becomes painfully clear why Kristen Stewart was so cast against type.
I have seen her in other films besides the execrable Twilight series and she always looks the same and acts the same. There is not one ‘Snow White’ bone in her body (and yes I am aware just how wrong that sounds). The film really does belong to Theron, not Stewart and it really mystifies why on earth she was cast, dalliances with the director not included.
That the movie did well in the area of box office receipts can be verified via IMDb or Wikipedia. I am not surprised, like I said earlier, the film looks fantastic, the vast majority of the cast acted their socks off and apart from the disturbing digitized images of Ian McShane and Co (which outraged the Little People of America so much that they protested) the effects of the film were top-notch.
My final verdict is that it is worth seeing for everyone’s performances except for Ms Stewart’s whose only crime was being mis-cast.
- REVIEW: Snow White and the Huntsman (Blu-ray) (kdvr.com)
- The Longest Short Movie Review You’ll Ever Read: SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (mralphafreak.wordpress.com)
- Snow White and the Huntsman (canadiancinephile.com)
- Kristen Stewart Dropped From ‘Snow White And The Huntsman’ Sequel, But Not Rupert Sanders (thesuperficial.com)
- The Princess has a Sword: ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ (Review) (popmatters.com)
- News Roundup: Kristen Stewart May Return For ‘Snow White 2,’ ‘Paranormal Activity 4’ Sneak Peek, And More (screencrave.com)