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Just got home from the press screening at Megamall. Ive been looking forward to this movie since I like dark fairy tales, but made sure to watch it without high expectations.
The movie is not boring-- but no emotional connection either. 6.75/10 stars
PS: Kristen is pretty (but when she opens her mouth, she doesn't look like a princess.) Charlize is STUNNING.
The second Snow White movie adaptation is now on theaters featuring Charlize Theron as the evil queen, Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman and Kristine Stewart as Snow White. Two opposite adaptation in which in this film shows a much intriguing storyline and has a much fantastic imaginative CGI effects.
When the Queen died, the King was enchanted by the beauty of Queen Ravena which decided him to marry her but on their wedding night the King was poisoned and murdered. The evil queen took over the castle and locked out Snow White in the stone tower. When Queen Ravena found out that Snow White is the key to her immortality he ordered her brother to get her. Soon Snow White escaped and the queen ordered a huntsman to retrieve her in the enchanted forest. With the help of the huntsman Snow White will now plan and seek revenge to vanquish the evil queen.
If you think you've seen enough of fairytale turned into movie adaptation, well think again. In this newest Snow White film gave it's viewers a lot good moments that really brought out an entertaining storyline. With a good stellar cast including a wonderful performance by Charlize Theron convincingly took care of the role of the evil queen. She is a scene stealer with her astonishing costumes and brilliant effects whenever she is sight. She draws the sympathy from the viewers while she is struggling to to get that undying beauty. On the other hand Kristen Stewart can't seem to get out on her Bella Swan image because in some parts of the movie we still feel watching Twilight and thinking that Edward might pop out of nowhere. While Chris Hemsworth was worth watching in his rugged look as the huntsman.
Yes the dwarfs are still present, can't take them out of the story. The Mirror on the wall, the apple and a prince are all present but providing some twists that brings out some freshness to the plot. Though the chemistry and romance between the leads were barely felt the adventure and decent actions scenes pulled it through. The effects was just outstanding with brilliant creatures really adapting into a fantasy atmosphere even shrinking some actors into dwarf size was incredible.
Overall it's a really entertaining movie with such great actors in it. The magical tale of Snow White lives on with new things you can really appreciate all throughout the movie.
Rating: 8 out of 10 stars.
Casts: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Nick Frost and Sam Claflin
Directed by: Rupert Sanders
Distributed by: United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corporation
Opens on cinemas June 1, 2012
Official PEx Movie Reviews
Oh my this is it! bukas na! I love watching dark versions of movies like this.
Snow White and the Huntsman
BY ROGER EBERT / May 30, 2012
"Snow White and the Huntsman" reinvents the legendary story in a film of astonishing beauty and imagination. It's the last thing you would expect from a picture with this title. It falters in its storytelling, because Snow White must be entirely good, the Queen must be entirely bad, and there's no room for nuance. The end is therefore predetermined. But, oh, what a ride.
This is an older Snow White than we usually think of. Played for most of the film by Kristen Stewart, capable and plucky, she has spent long years locked in a room of her late father's castle, imprisoned by his cruel second wife (Charlize Theron). When she escapes and sets about writing wrongs, she is a mature young woman, of interest to the two young men who join in her mission. But the movie sidesteps scenes of romance, and in a way, I suppose that's wise.
The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) is a heroic, mead-guzzling hunter assigned by the Queen to track down Snow White and bring her back to the castle. After encountering her, however, he is so impressed he changes sides. There is also Prince William (Sam Claflin), smitten since childhood, and the two men join in an unstated alliance.
The Queen lives in terror of losing the beauty of her youth and constantly tops up with the blood of virgins to restore it. She tests her success with the proverbial mirror on the wall, which melts into molten metal and assumes a spectral form, not unlike Death in "The Seventh Seal," although its metallic transformation process reminds us of "The Terminator."
The castle, which sits in eerie splendor on an island joined to the mainland only by an low tide, is a gothic fantasy that reminds me of the Ghormenghast series. The Queen is joined there by her brother, somewhat diminished by his blond page-boy haircut, who does her bidding but seems rather out to lunch. Extras appear when needed, then disappear. The Queen commands extraordinary supernatural powers, including the ability to materialize countless black birds that can morph into fighting demons or shards of cutting metal.
All of this is rendered appropriately by the special effects, but the treasure of this film is in two of its locations: a harsh, forbidding Dark Forest, and an enchanted fairyland. Both of these realms exist near the castle, and the Huntsman is enlisted in the first place because he knows the Dark Forest, where Snow White has taken refuge.
In this forbidding realm, nothing lives, and it is thick with the blackened bones of dead trees, as if a forest fire had burned only the greenery. There is no cheer here and a monstrous troll confronts Snow White in a dramatic stare-down. After the Huntsman frees her from the Dark Forest, they are delighted to find, or be found by, the Eight Dwarves.
Yes, eight, although one doesn't survive, reducing their number to the proverbial seven. These characters look strangely familiar, and no wonder: The magic of CGI has provided the faces of familiar British actors such as Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan and Toby Jones. While this technique is effective, it nevertheless deprives eight working (real) dwarves with jobs, which isn't really fair.
The dwarves lead them to my favorite realm in the film, an enchanting fairyland, which is a triumph of art direction and CGI. Mushrooms open their eyes and regard the visitors. Cute forest animals scamper and gambol in tribute to a forest scene in Disney's 1937 animated film. The fairies themselves are naked, pale-skinned sprites with old, wise faces. The spirit of this forest is embodied by a great white stag with expressive eyes and horns that spread in awesome complexity. This is a wonderful scene. The director, Rupert Sanders, who began in TV commercials, is clearly familiar with establishing memorable places.
As for the rest, there is a sufficiency of medieval battle scenes, too many for my taste, and a fairly exciting siege of the castle, aided by the intervention of the dwarves, and featuring catapults that hurl globes of burning tar — always enjoyable.
There is a great film here somewhere, perhaps one that allowed greater complexity for the characters. But considering that I walked in expecting no complexity at all, let alone the visual wonderments, "Snow White and the Huntsman" is a considerable experience.
WARNING : SPOILERS AHEAD
It’s a gorgeous-looking movie. It certainly does what it can to appeal to both genders, the acting is solid if not spectacular, and there is enough modification on the classic to make it surprising at times, but it could definitely use some tightening. This movie does not need to be over 2 hours. Some more consistency around the messaging might be useful too. Please note this review will be heavy on spoilers.
First to Kristen Stewart - as I wrote a few weeks ago after seeing the film, she does not bite her lip, not once, the entire time. There is a lot of loud breathing though but given that she’s being pursued by a psychopath through most of the movie, it’s kind of understandable. Stewart IS Snow White. I mean there’s no question. It’s more than just her beauty, which is undeniable, but a convincing steadiness of character. Snow White represents all that’s redeemable in humanity, everything worth fighting for, she is the hope and the promise, and Stewart doesn’t shirk from that responsibility in her performance; in fact she wears it rather well. After a while though, especially in the land of the magic garden - you’ll see - it’s gets to be a little Mariah Carey meets The Matrix, with all the “She’s The One” adulation, in hyper technicolour surrounded by butterflies. For real.
As for Charlize Theron, here’s where I was maybe slightly underwhelmed. She looks the part, obviously, and the costumes are magnificent, and I believe that she is pure black inside because they do a great job explaining to me how she became that way - it’s like Fatal Attraction on tilt - but her Evil Queen is way, way too shouty. You know how evil can be equally as effective when it’s still and silent than when it’s all up in your face, screaming at the top of her lungs? Charlize does a lot of screaming. Too much screaming and not enough deadly monotone...which, at times, takes you out of the moment because it’s so jarring - you’re like, *****, control yourself - and I have to think this is less about her than about the direction she was given on how to play it. There are times when she goes off, for the 3rd or 4th time, that you wonder whether or not the slaves who are there to serve her might be rolling their eyes, like here we go again, she’s about to lose it. It takes away from the fear, you see?
The one who steals the movie is the dude who plays the Queen’s creepy perverted brother. He’s terrifyingly mesmerising in every scene. Who is this Sam Spruell? I am afraid of him.
But the battle scenes are impressive. I can’t get enough of Stewart on horseback. She said it’s not where she lives, that she’s very uncomfortable, but the way it’s presented in the film, she rides like she’s been doing it her whole life, and seeing her, with so much determination on that small face and her tiny little body almost falling out of her armour, leading thousands of men in the fight, it’s so endearing it’s irresistible. And it makes up for the weird pacing that comes before it.
That’s essentially what Snow White And The Huntsman is - great drama followed by flatness, over and over again, so that it never lives up to its potential. The movie feels... inexperienced. And, frankly, most importantly, it lacks commitment when it counts.
We are led to believe, after all, that this Snow White is all girl power fist pumps. Great! Through most of it, I am down with that as we watch her grow into her strength and her courage. But love is important too, right? Of course. Which is why she is ultimately saved by true love’s kiss, worthy of it by the gentle sould that, naturally, sets her apart from her adversary. And then, armed with new life and fulfilled in her heart, she rallies her people, inspiring them to join her in her quest, to be her “brothers”, to charge onwards together, side by side. It’s a wonderful sequence, and at this point, the bra burner in me was happily satisfied...
Until she wins. Of course she wins. She wins (using a move that her lover taught her so, again, there’s a nod to the importance of love and companionship in her life) and Ravenna, the Evil Queen, is defeated; Snow White is finally returned to her rightful place on the throne. This is where we find her at the very end, as she’s being coronated (is this a word?) before her people, her loyal subjects, for whom she was prepared to die, and who would die in her defence, and there’s an expression on her face...
Despite all that she’s achieved, it’s not quite enough.
She looks ...unsteady.
Let’s recap, shall we?
Snow White has just come back to life, touched by love, a magic so much more powerful than any dark art the Evil Queen could summon. She valiantly storms the castle, inspires her army, triumphs against a seemingly insurmountable opponent, restores the kingdom to its former glory, brings happiness back to the citizens, and somehow...
Something is still missing.
Cut to Kristen Stewart, the crown atop her head, holding on to a medieval scepter, surrounded by her supporters, all of them looking at her with adulation, loyal every last one of them to the fairest Queen of them all, and she’s....
Unsure, hesitant, INCOMPLETE.
Until Chris Hemsworth, her true love, the one who kissed her, rounds the corner. They make eye contact. And finally an expression confidence and peace settles onto her face. The END.
That’s the lasting image we are left with in a movie that’s supposed to be about so-called Girl Power? After all she’s accomplished, in the end, it was nothing until she was validated by her man? But Lainey, doesn’t Snow White need love? We all need love. And she got love in the form of a restorative kiss which should satisfy the people who argue for the presence of romance. But you don’t need to shove it in my face at the very end to undermine what she’s achieved as the Woman Warrior. And you certainly don’t need to make it the final shot in the film, as if to say, oh but all this it was nothing until Snow White and Her Boyfriend confirmed that they were in love with each other.
Why couldn’t he be part of the congregation assembled before her at the ceremony? After all, when she calls them to battle, he’s one of hundreds of soldiers who takes a knee at her command. It’s not like he hasn’t already acknowledged her position, her power, her strength. Instead, in removing him from the group, singling him out as the one whose approval she sought before she could truly enjoy her crowning, you not only make him her equal, you PUT HIM ABOVE HER...
Two good hours of “you go girl” only to be undone by 30 seconds of conformity.
It’s incredibly frustrating.
Some of you are likely rolling your eyes. God Lainey, why do you have to be a crusader about every f-cking thing? Because these are the symbols that undermine a message. If this movie had no thesis, no intended objective to portray a new kind of fairy tale princess, fine, no problem, let’s go ahead and eat up the Disney stereotypes and not complain. But this was their goal. This is what they kept saying over and over and over again - our Snow White is a new badass heroine for the times.
She reclaimed her kingdom but she’s needed her boyfriend to make it whole - are you telling me you’ve never seen that girl before? That’s the problem. I’ve seen her before. They promised me someone else.
Still...at least there’s no love triangle.
kahit pangit yung reviews sa movie, panoorin ko pa rin ito
The Hollywood reporter
This serious take on the fairy tale features arresting visuals, surprising imagination and a face-off between the beauty of Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron.
A bold rethinking of a familiar old story and striking design elements are undercut by a draggy midsection and undeveloped characters in Snow White and the Huntsman. After the campy family farce of Mirror, Mirror, this second revisionist take of the year on the 19th century fairy tale strides out deadly serious and in full armor, not to mention with more costume changes for Charlize Theron than a Lady Gaga concert. Designed to appeal to teen and young-adult girls and guys, this muscular PG-13 action adventure conspicuously lacks romance but should get a good box-office ride on the shoulders of stars Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth.
The teeing up is dramatic, to say the least, giving a swift and dire account of the malevolent usurpation of the throne of a rugged waterfront kingdom by Ravenna (Theron), a stunning blonde who infiltrates from enemy territory, bewitches the widowed monarch and dispatches him on their wedding night. The king's daughter is kept prisoner in a high tower until her maturity, at which point the queen's mirror -- in this case a giant golden plate that morphs into a molten statue -- informs her that the status of fairest in the land has shifted to Snow White (Stewart), who represents the queen's greatest threat as well as her salvation.
All through this, the visual elements are riveting, with production designer Dominic Watson and costume designer Colleen Atwood making major statements with their fabulously detailed and rich-looking creations. Initially based on blacks, whites and reds, the color scheme is slowly expanded to embrace a rich, carefully calculated array of hues, which first-time director Rupert Sanders, whose background is in commercials, knows how to show off to maximum effect.
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Woe be to anyone who would permit Snow White to escape. But since the guilty party is the queen's albino-ish enforcer brother Finn (Sam Spruell), this unfortunate fellow is merely obliged to follow her into the aptly named Dark Forest, to which she has perilously fled and from which the dirty, unschooled teenager can only be rescued by a drunken warrior (Hemsworth), another widower, who has nothing to lose.
Sanders shows a skilled hand for conjuring up dramatic contexts, presenting characters, making actors look good and stirring up threatening moods. He's less effective at maintaining interest over the long haul of the midsection's lengthy journey, as the huntsman leads Snow White through the dreaded forest to a village of women and children and on to a land known as Sanctuary, a once-enchanted home to dwarfs, sprites and unique animals that has come upon hard times since the evil queen has been in power.
VIDEO: 'Snow White and the Huntsman': Colleen Atwood on Creating the Fairytale Costumes
Although this interlude has its charms, stemming from the creature creations as well as the from the lightly amusing characterizations of the little guys by normally robust actors such as Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone and Eddie Marsan, the protracted odyssey feels especially flat because it's not marked by any deepening of the personalities of the princess and her blade-toting escort or any significant alterations in their relationship. Hemsworth's soldier seems too loaded and hung up on his late wife to think too seriously about Snow White, but even if he did, he'd have to defer to William (Sam Claflin), the princess's childhood friend and presumed intended, who turns up (with this season's obligatory weapon, the bow and arrow) to join the good fight and install Snow White on her throne back home where she belongs.
Every so often, the film cuts back to the castle to reveal the queen in distressed states of aging and miraculous rejuvenation, the latter alarmingly achieved by sucking the youth out of younger victims. This royal would seem to be a self-made vampire of sorts as well as a forerunner of contemporary youth-obsessed women willing to do almost anything to maintain their beauty and allure.
So this is a film of moments, of arresting visuals, marked seriousness, sometimes surprising imagination and with nothing on its mind, really, except to provide the conventional reassurance of installing a rightful royal on the throne. It's also a film in which you can't help but behold and compare the contrasting beauty of two of the most exceptional-looking women on the screen today, Stewart and Theron. Sanders studies both of them closely and from many angles, with Stewart nearly always maintaining her ethereal air clenched by angst and determination and Theron expressing a will and mercilessness to rival any despot. Despite the narrow ranges their roles require, both command one's attention throughout. Required in their own ways to be gaze-worthy, Hemsworth and Claflin bear up in far more constricted parts.
Craft and technical contributions are all first-rate. James Newton Howard has composed an unusually somber and nuanced full orchestral score that helpfully amplifies the story's dark moods and currents.
Daming reviews. Good or bad I'll still watch this movie because of Charlize Theron.
watching this movie in 30 minutes and looks like uulitin namin hahahaha weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh
by the way thanks for the reviews...good or bad...satisfied or not(for the others as expected...lol...) ... keep them coming
Movie review: Forget fair, 'Snow White and the Huntsman' is fierce
By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
June 1, 2012
"Snow White and the Huntsman,"starring a fierce Kristen Stewart and an even fiercer Charlize Theron as warring sides of good and evil, is a baroque enchantment filled with dazzling darkness, desultory dwarfs, demonic trolls and beastly fairies. It is an absolute wonder to watch and creates a warrior princess for the ages. But what this revisionist fairy tale does not give us is a passionate love — its kisses are as chaste as the snow is white.
Perhaps they are saving the passion for the sequel, for it seems there is surely one to come after director Rupert Sanders' brilliantly inventive debut. The film's Alexander McQueen-esque illusions of grandeur do a very good job of masking its flaws, and for the story, Evan Daugherty has conjured up a serious feminist twist on the ages old fable. It is his first screenplay to be produced, with later assists and shared credit with veterans John Lee Hancock ("The Blind Side," "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil") and Hossein Amini ("Drive," "The Wings of the Dove").
The bones of the tale remain as the Brothers Grimm envisioned it — a villainess queen obsessed with beauty, a truth-telling mirror, a fairer and far younger Snow White, helpful hapless dwarfs, a poison apple and the power of true love's kiss. But it's the way in which the filmmakers have fleshed things out that makes the magic happen. The best addition is a drunken mercenary in the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), who is pressed by the Queen to track down Snow White.
Instead of a prince, there is a childhood sweetheart who grows into the daring duke William (Sam Claflin), a bowman destined to break down walls that both protect and repress. Queen Ravenna is now blessed and cursed with a hopelessly devoted and devious brother Finn (Sam Spruell). And in addition to notions of immortality, the pure of heart and the blackest of souls, the film is examining all the ways in which power-mad politics can bleed a country and its people dry.
But the seismic shifts have come in the heroics, with Snow White driven by her destiny to right the wrongs of her kingdom, a girl of ambitions who can't be bothered by love. Duke William is something of a romantic player, but it's the Huntsman who proves most worthy of Snow White's anger and her affection — she's really not into the whole being saved thing, and if there's a white steed, she'll ride it herself, thank you very much.
Hemsworth has a great screen presence that works as a good counterpoint to the slightly built Stewart. He is explosive when there are fights to pick, but he flounders as a sloppy drunk and he's not given much of a chance to become a heartthrob.
In Theron's hands, Ravenna plays a lethal political and personal game, literally and figuratively sucking the life out of everything and everyone around her. It is a chilling transformation for the actress, who embodies the Queen's desperation for youth and immortality in ways that are frighteningly reflective of our times. Those bloody little raven hearts she seems to be munching would sell like hotcakes if they had half of the rejuvenating properties we witness on screen.
But none of it would work without Stewart's steely Snow White as the bough that will not break, and never have the actress' soulful eyes and exposed heart worked more in her favor. The story begins with her magical childhood (Raffey Cassidy plays the young Snow White) that is soon marred by her mother's death and her father's (Noah Huntley) fateful fall for the damsel who will cause all the distress and that molten mirror mirror on the wall. Its shape-shifting properties are one of the film's many mesmerizing effects (Christopher Obi gives the reflecting glass a booming bass voice to match).
What exceeds expectations is the way in which the film realizes Sanders' insane flights of fancy, from the evil armies that shatter into dark shards to the eerie way in which actors Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins have been morphed into wonderfully wizened dwarfs.
This is a movie that is built from the ground up for maximum visual impact — the sewage that Snow White must swim through is wretched, the rock-hewn castle seems hand-carved out of the cliffs, the mythical white stag in a forest lush with bewitching flora and fauna is otherworldly to behold.
And anything that Ravenna touches — from her cloak of black feathers to her milk bath immersion — really look like ideas plucked from a Paris runway or a Vogue fashion spread. Greig Fraser handles the gorgeous cinematography, Dominic Watkins the production design, Oscar-winner Colleen Atwood the costumes. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and Philip Brennan supervise visual effects, but they are only the tip of the iceberg that created this monument to style.
There is substance to be sure in all the righteous battles that are waged, the mettle that is tested. But this is ultimately a story whose heroine's fate hangs on a kiss. And the power of that kiss to breathe life into anyone or anything is the hardest thing about this fairy tale to believe.
Just watched the movie today. Akala ko nung una parang pareho sa red ridong hood lang hindi pala. No boring moments! Pero fairest para sa akin si charlize theron kesa kay kirsten. Twas a good movie! 8.5/10
#for the pin!
“It’s also strongly influenced by a lot of smart, feminist thinking about why Snow White has so much staying power—and why the story is better when it’s the heroine who slays the monstrous matriarch. [...] Kristen Stewart is not an obvious choice for Snow White, given her habitual expression of discomfort while striking conventional feminine poses—both in movies and on redcarpets. That’s why, of course, she’s right for this Snow White, imprisoned in a tower during puberty and with no regard for her looks: She has integrity, inner beauty.”
Time Out NY:
“A too-bustling prologue shows how Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron, camping it up) usurped power, poisoned the land and imprisoned her stepdaughter rival, Snow White (Kristen Stewart, a delight). But then the film finds surer footing and proceeds with a deliberateness rare in a big-budget franchise starter; you can sense the hand of coscreenwriter Hossein Amini (Drive) in the story’s always involving, slow-build structure.”
“Snow White, is of course, innocence at its most pure and literally beautiful, but what really impresses is the transformation of the source text from one which seems anachronistic in light of feminism – waiting for a man to save the day – into one of proactive escape from one’s oppressors. The seemingly delicate fairytale figurehead is repositioned as a gusty leader of men [...] with Stewart’s intensity making up for her waifish, presumably inoffensive frame. Spelled out in less expository terms than a fairytale intended for easy digestion by children, the story takes on a new form, which adults as well as tweens will appreciate. [...] More The Dark Knight than Twilight, this is one fairytale update that packs an impressive punch and a deft, human touch.”
“It is Theron’s crazed performance as the wicked Queen Ravenna with her psychologically fractured past and evil present that spellbinds and scene-steals. She may be playing an over-the-top psycho but no one can say she isn’t committed to the role. The Oscar-winner’s performance is enhanced by the juxtaposition of the inherent darkness and her obvious beauty, along with the wonderful costuming and impressive CGI effects.”
“This is certainly a grittier take on the legend, but director Rupert Sanders (making his feature debut) makes sure to mix in enough ‘Lord of The Rings’ type fantasy to make this an interesting prospect, including magical stags and enchanted forests. The story is interesting enough to sustain you over a two hour running time, and little touches like the very impressive techniques employed to portray veteran actors such as Ray Winstone and Bob Hoskins as dwarves make it look a lot different to what one expects.”
"She thrives in the quiet moments, shines in the action sequences, and is exceptional when Snow White tries to convince herself she’s worthy of her destiny."-David Blaustein on KStew (abcnews)
I just watched the movie kanina sa Trinoma. Buti na lang showing na pala.
The movie was good naman. My rating would be 8 of 10. Not bad for a Kristen Stewart film. Isama mo pa si Chris "Rumba" Hemsworth.
Kakataka lang is originally 8 pala yung dwarves. Then ayun naging 7 sa huli.
Kaso too bad eh hindi magandang ending. Walang pinili si Snow White. Open ended yung plot. Di mo alam sino pipiliin. Yung kalaro ba nya nung bata or yung tumulong sa kanya para magapi si Ravena. Wooot!
Yung seduction scene ni William eh napa-kiss sa kanya si Snow White. But si Huntsman yung nakapagpa-gising ke Snow White. So magulo yung plot. Badtrip lang sana ginawang klaro. Hahaha Spoiler.
Anyway, as usual Charlize Theron carried this movie. Galing pa din. Handsdown ako sa reyna na to.
Fave scene ko yung nag-march si Queen + young Snow White. Ang cute ni little Snowie. Inlove ako sa cuteness nya. Sana pag nagka-anak ako na girl eh kasing cute nun.
Darker, grown-up ‘Snow White’ is not for kids
Fairy tale trend comes to big screen with clever, if uneven effort
By Jeff Marker
Fairy tales are the new vampires. As the vampire fad fades, a different (notice I didn’t say “new”) cultural trend is taking over: fairy tales made for more mature audiences.
“Game of Thrones,” “Grimm” and “Once Upon A Time” are among the hottest shows on television, so Hollywood hopes to cash in on the trend with dozens of reworked fairy tales.
“Snow White and the Huntsman” comes this week as the second Snow White movie this year. This Snow White, however, is fairer than the tepid “Mirror Mirror” and should fare better at the box office.
“Huntsman” is also intended for more mature audiences, very much earning its PG-13 rating thanks to numerous battle scenes, personal killings and sexual innuendo.
The stakes are life and death from the outset. Snow White’s mother dies when Snow is a girl. Her father, the king, is still mourning when a mysterious, beautiful woman named Ravenna (Charlize Theron) tricks him into making her his queen.
The king and Ravenna are about to consummate the marriage on their wedding night, when Ravenna straddles him and stabs him to death with a dagger. She then rolls onto her side of the bed, chest heaving in post-coital fashion.
Again, parents, this movie was not made for your young children.
Just as in the fairy tale, Ravenna is obsessed with being the fairest of the land — later we learn there is more to it than mere vanity — so she locks Snow White in a tower and begins sucking the youth out of the local girls.
She rules with the help of her brother Finn (Sam Spruell), with whom she has an unnaturally intimate relationship.
Snow (Kristen Stewart), of course, grows up to be fairest in the land, so the queen must rip out her heart. Snow escapes just in time.
Ravenna coerces a Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) into tracking down the fugitive, but when he learns that the queen plans to kill Snow and that he has been double-crossed, he decides to help her.
A large portion of the movie has Snow and the Huntsman on the run and meeting some superbly cast dwarves, but eventually Snow will lead a rebellion against the queen to restore peace in the land.
The combination of fairy tale storytelling and serious dramatic style proves awkward and uneven. The filmmakers aim for a heavy tone similar to “Game of Thrones,” but the screening audience chuckled at a few moments that were intended to be serious.
For instance, the King discovers Ravenna, filthy and cowering in fear in a wagon, after a battle and decides to marry her — the very next day?
When Snow escapes from Ravenna’s castle she makes it to a nearby beach, where a gleaming white horse just happens to be waiting for her. The movie doesn’t provide any motivation for the horse being there. It’s just there, magically.
The problem is how the filmmakers (mis)handle the shifting tone. It begins like a Shakespearean costume drama with no fantasy elements. So when a horse seems to just drop out of nowhere, it’s laughable.
Later, we see Snow’s magical qualities, how every living thing adores and protects her. The fantasy elements make more sense as the movie goes, but they are occasionally silly early on.
The entire cast is excellent, though, especially Theron and those surprising dwarves.
Stewart must have loved this role. After playing passive for the entire Twilight series, she gets to take matters into her own hands. She rides horses, dons armor and wields a sword — quite a change from Bella’s incessant fretting over Edward and Jacob.
Prepare yourselves for the fairy tale trend to continue. With multiple productions of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Dorothy and Oz, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty and several others set to hit theatres over the next three years, Snow White is about to have a lot more company.
Jeff Marker teaches film and literature at Gainesville State College. His reviews appear weekly in Get Out and on gainesvilletimes.com/getout.