As a fairy-tale-swooning female, I decided to give my take on Snow White and the Huntsman. Here is what writer James Bean had to say about the movie. As for me, I enjoyed the movie more than he did, because I cared about the characters, and, I’ll just admit it, I always grin when good triumphs over evil.
Let me just say this up front: I have never written a movie review before, and this one will be riddled with minor spoilers (because honestly, I don’t know how to write about a movie without revealing some small surprises). For another head’s up, I am not typically a Kristen Stewart fan (don’t ravage me to shreds readers), because her acting reads as emotionless — stoic at best — throughout the Twilight films thus far. And finally, I worship the ground Charlize Theron walks on (after Young Adult, who doesn’t?!).
I went to see Snow White and the Huntsman on a whim with no real expectations, and the film surprised me. Though the plot grew shaky at times, the writers took the time to give ample breathing room to each character’s back story, so by the end, you cared for each of them. The visuals blew me away (the scene in fairy forest … who do I have to bribe to take me there). And the classic story of Snow White wove into the plot without seeming forced. Neither the apple nor the kiss nor the mirror will disappoint. And to top it off, the film didn’t present the typical must-be-saved-by-prince plot line, but instead offered a heroine who had to learn to save herself.
The movie begins with a haunting sequence that breathes life into the plot. Princess Snow White is the pride and joy of the kingdom, while the evil — yet sexy — new Queen claws her way to the top. A thread is introduced here, a series of birds who Snow White healed as a child guide her to safety as the film progresses. Within the first 20 minutes, there is a lonely brother’s moment of weakness, a daring escape and a proper soul sucking. Wham, bam, boom, I’m hooked.
The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), our unlikely hero’s helper, now becomes part of the plot. And Snow and the Huntsman become a lovable duo making their way through the eerily enchanted dark forest. This portion disappoints only in that the dark forest is given no context. Why does it work the way it does, and why do the two make it out while almost no other’s survive? After this jaunt, the two come across my favorite village of people: the women who have sacrificed their beauty to raise their children in peace. It will give you chills.
As the story continues, we begin to feel sorry for the Queen and forgive some of her satanic ways. She is merely feeding the fire that keeps her alive at any price. And you get a whiff of how difficult her life has been in her moment of grief later in the film.
Within the first hour, the Duke’s son William (Sam Claflin) vies to help save the Princess. His character seemed to be the most disjointed. We get little background on him besides a few flashes of his childhood, and we don’t really understand who he is or why he fight’s for his childhood love. (And, let’s just be honest, we aren’t really rooting for him to win her back. Team Huntsman!)
After him, the lovable and insightful dwarves join the crew. Their characters grant the film a cup of comedic relief and a splash of sincerity. Once Snow White manages to wrangle the troops with a winning yet rushed speech, they’re off for an epic battle (which totally channeled the Hogwarts Battle, though with the evil inside the castle walls this time). In the final (and predictable) show down between the Queen and Snow White; the two brawl face-to-face, and it’s the Huntsman’s earlier advice that ends the battle. Beautiful.
Throughout the film, Kristen Stewart maintained her typically stoic demeanor, but for once, I actually think it worked for the character. It made her character hard as well as lovable. What made it better was the dichotomy between Stewarts’s shielded expressions and Charlize Theron’s grandiose ones. Theron was truly larger than life in this film, and Stewart served as the perfect balance.
Overall, the film was visually awe-striking, but it didn’t lack a plot. Though the narrative had loose ends, the critical threads were tied up nicely. More than anything, I cared about these characters, and I think the movie can appeal to action lovers and fairy tale fans alike. This isn’t a film I will own, probably just a one time watch, but it was worth the time and money to view in theaters.
Rated: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality)
Snow White and the Huntsman is now available in theaters.