‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ Movie Review
A modern and contemporary Snow White adaptation hit theaters this weekend. I didn’t get a chance to see the earlier live-action Snow White movie, Mirror Mirror, so I won’t even try to compare them. The cool thing about this movie, titled Snow White and the Huntsman, is its darker tone. So what if I found the better part of half the film boring? I give the filmmakers credit for trying a different approach. Ultimately, I didn’t particularly like the movie, but there are some redeeming qualities.
When Snow White’s (Kristen Stewart) mother passes away, Ravenna (Charlize Theron) takes over the crown. The evil stepmother murders King Magnus (Noah Huntley) and imprisons Snow White. As Queen Ravenna’s powers wane over time, she realizes Snow White’s heart is the key to immortality.
But wait! Snow White conveniently escapes in the nick of time! Now, it becomes a race to locate and capture her before Ravenna’s powers run out. Over the course of the story, we’re given an alternative look at the entire Snow White tale, including the aforementioned evil stepmother, mixed with other things – including the dwarves, rotten apple, and Prince Charming.
In this sense, Snow White and the Huntsman is very neat. We all know the story, and I was scared it’d turn into a mediocre rehash of the fairy tale/animated story we’ve all seen. First-time director Rupert Sanders and screenwriters Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini weren’t afraid to stray a bit. This also makes it less of a children’s story. For me, again, this is a good thing.
I can definitely see how people would argue they tried to Twilight-ilize the movie. Capitalizing on Stewart’s success, while presenting a loose love-triangle essentially dares us to despise the film (especially myself). Then, in between the battle scenes (which we’re definitely well-shot), I got barely any reason to care for anyone. This is especially troubling because we’re supposed to care for Snow White. Not only is she underdeveloped, and overly-sexualized, but the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) isn’t given much either. Unfortunately, this happens with Queen Ravenna, too. I’m all for female villains, but I think they tried a little too hard, resulting in more laughter than sincere fear.
Between all the bad parts (as you can tell, there are a lot), there were some things I really enjoyed. I prefer to frame it this way because I respect what they tried to do. If there is one thing Sanders is known for, it’s his special effects expertise. This makes sense since the film, at least, looked good. The explicit use of magic made it less grounded in reality, yes, but the overall tone was much darker than I expected. I can’t speak for the Twilight series since I haven’t seen them, but I still think it’s an unfair comparison. The story and characters could use some spice, which would undoubtedly jolt the lifeless plot. However, I can’t despise this movie because it was a decent-enough effort to create a different look at the classic “fairy tale.”