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~FILM REVIEW ONLY~
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron
Director: Rupert Saunder
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Run time: 127 mins
Release Date: 2012
With the death of the queen and a young daughter to raise, the King is easily swayed by a blond haired beauty who needs his help. She soon becomes his wife and the new queen of the realm. With his death, the wicked queen allows the castle to be invaded by her people and the true heir to the throne, Snow White is locked away in a tower.
As the queen's dark plans for her start to unveil, Snow White manages to escape. In a twist to the story, the Huntsman who is sent into the dark forest to chase her down finds himself protecting her instead and soon a plot forms to bring down the wicked queen.
Firstly, I am NOT a fan of Kristen Stewart, I find her acting sluggish and completely one dimensional. I also find that she has this gormless, open-mouthed expression which I think she believes looks sophisticated but just makes you want to scream "CLOSE YOUR MOUTH!"
Her portrayal of Snow White left me unmoved, she turned an innocent yet driven character into a crackly whiny girl who seemed to shift awkwardly between being strong like her father to suddenly being weak and needing help. This can work if done well...this movie did not do it well.
I also thought her look wasn't right, as while she has this long black hair her skin was not really pale enough to play Snow White!
So why did I watch this, you may ask. Well, despite the AWFUL choice of heroine, I did like the other character choices.
If I put my bias for Chris Hemsworth to one side (he is very dreamy though), I found his portrayal of the Huntsman to be a nice mix. A dark past helped to give him some semblance of reason for his drinking and surliness and there is a rough edge to him. Added to that the move between hunter and protector flowed well and his overall development as the story progressed was good to watch.
But the best was Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen. Not only is she stunning, which works for the character but also her shifting personality between calm and calculating to raging fury. You also see some interesting back story about her which gives you glimpses of what she has had to go through and why she became how she is.
The dwarves strangely did not really dominate this film like you would expect them too. They were introduced a little roughly and there was only a few real scenes that touched on them. I don't think you got a feel much for each of their personalities and since they are not named "happy, grumpy, sleepy" etc I think a bit more depth would have helped.
A quick nod to the scenery, I thought it was well done to create the atmosphere. From the dark, almost dead forest to the poverty-stricken villages to the castle where the queen lives. It helped to keep you in the movie (sometimes I've watched fantasy films where either scenery, dialogue or speech has just ripped me right out of the movie because it didn't fit.) This was not one of them.
The queen's scenes were always the best, whether to her staff, her brother or her enemies. The dialogue and tone brought the scene to life.
Overall the dialogue was pretty good, it kept to the fantasy genre without leaning too modern or too cliché although there were some moments between Snow White and the Huntsman that felt a little forced. There is also a speech to a group of people that occurs and it is truly just cringe-worthy. It just does not work at all and reminds me of the speech at by the President in Independence Day that was a little blah! But other than that and a few minor pieces, the dialogue flows smoothly and works well.
The movie gets into some action pretty quickly such as a small battle and then the castle invasion, here is where Snow White is captured and locked away while friends and allies of her father flee - assuming she has been killed. (Never really explains why she is locked away and allowed to grow up rather than just killed. You can make some speculations but it does seem a little forced).
While there are some slower scenes these do not detract from the movie and continue to help the plot and character development.
I don't know if it is just for Kristen Stewart films but there always seems to be some sense of love triangle (for those of you who haven't seen Twlight - (GOOD, don't bother) there is another one in that film.)
In this one there is the (faintly) bubbling chemistry between the Huntsman and Snow White and then between Snow White and her childhood friend William, who is now all grown up and attempting to rescue her.
The concept of her childhood friend suddenly rebelling against better judgment and rushing off to try and save her feels a little forced. It does not really work well, especially when there is this sense of additional attraction. Personally, it didn't work for me and added a clunkiness to the movie.
With better and better CGI these days, I was happy to find most of the CGI in this film was pretty good. It is easy to either go under or over with CGI that can spoil a film. However with this one, it melded well with the live action and strengthened the movie rather than weakened it.
A good film that I can watch again, however I am only giving it three stars due to Kristen Stewart who just doesn't work (not good for the main character). However there is enough of the other characters and an interest plot (a little different from the original Snow White fairy tale) that makes it worth a watch.
So if you like fantasy stories, good visuals and interesting plots - you will probably enjoy (most) of this. Just grit your teeth through the KS scenes. ;p
Film Only Review
My latest film rental choice was Snow White and the Huntsman, I chose this as I had fancied seeing it for a while, as fantasy films in general appeal to me and I like Snow White :)
This is Snow White with a more modern twist, and I would say it is more grown up and probably not really for young children. The dwarfs are less Happy and more Grumpy and Snow White, played by Kristin Stewart (apparently of Twilight fame, although I've never seen it so can't comment), is less of a damsel in distress waiting around to be rescued. This is Snow White for the 21st century complete with dwarfs, fairies and a troll. It has some nice filmwork, and a lovely setting of rugged landscape, and a fantasy forest, the special effects are good and add to the story.
I found this had a good overall pace to it, the action and special effects all added to the story and kept me entertained. The story starts with Snow White's birth, and quickly progresses to her meeting her stepmother, played by Charlize Theron. Snow White then grows up, and the Enchanted Mirror gives the queen the bad news that Snow White is now "the fairest in the land". So appearances do matter :) We then have Snow White's escape and meet the Huntsman played by Chris Hemsworth.
This is a action fantasy type film, and while there is blood there is also magic and fairies, and I found it quite light hearted. There is another male lead in the form of Sam Claflin, who plays William, Snow White's childhood friend, but despite there being two main male characters and Snow White, there is no real romance between them, and I quite like that this film has none of those distractions from the main plot. I think the characters I enjoyed the most were the dwarfs, watching the film I had to keep counting them as there seemed to be more then 7, and looking at a cast list now I can see there were 9. These were actors who were shrunk with technology and included well known actors Ian Mcshane and Ray Winstone. I enjoyed these as while they were Grumpy, they were good fun and different from my expectations of the 7, or in this case 9 dwarfs.
I felt the relationship between Snow White and the huntsman worked well, and you could see a bond there as to why he would protect her. I also liked the relationship with William, although overall I felt the relationships were a bit shallow, but then maybe this is an effect of the story. The acting was mostly good, although I found some of Kristin Stewart's acting a bit weak, and the film might have benefitted from some more passion (in the acting sense :) ) in general.
Warning Plot Spoiler
The film's ending was as with the fairy story, a happy ever after, but then I would never have expected Snow White to fail against the evil queen, nor would I have wanted her to. I found the ending then while expected was enjoyable
So was it My Happily Ever After?
No not really, this was enjoyable to watch, I liked the special effects, and the story line with the modern twist in general. I think though that this is more a relaxing afternoon doing nothing kind of film, rather then an evening in with the popcorn, so for me 3 stars I'd watch it again, but only if there was nothing better on :)
We went to see this last week after seeing a trailer and thinking it looked quite good and a bit different from the traditional snow white fairy tale. I was also curious to see how Kristen Stewart got on as I've only ever seen her play Bella in the Twilight films.
The film was released in the UK on 01 June and is directed by Rupert Sanders and compiled by Brothers Grimm.
Snow White (Kristen Stewart) plays the young princess of fairytale land 'Tabor'. Sadly her mothers dies and within a few weeks her grieving father finds himself a new wife Raveena (Charlize Theron). After appearing such a lovely woman, Raveena shows her true colours on their wedding night when she murders King Magnus and as a result seizes control of the kingdom.
Several of the villages inhabitants escape, but unfortunately Snow White is seized and imprisoned in the tower. We then jump forward several years where the village has gone into disrepair and the people are all in a depression following the evil reign of their new Queen. We realise that Snow White is still imprisoned in the tower. An opportunity of escape comes up for Snow White which she seizes and succeeds in escaping and flees to the dark forest which is the only way out of the kingdom. After the Queen learns that the now grown-up Snow White will outshine her she realises that she must seize Snow White's heart in order to gain immortality. So she sends out local huntsman (Chris Hemworth) who happens to be a drunken widower into the dark forest to get her back. He finds her but instead of taking her back to the Queen decides to help her on her mission to escape.
They are eventually reunited with the villagers who escaped when the King was killed and form an army with the help of the seven dwarves they encounter along the way, to try to defeat and take down the evil Queen, thus regaining power over the kingdom and restoring peace and harmony.
The film is basically a different take on a traditional fairy tale. It not only gives us a different take on the story but also a whole different vibe which is much darker and more mysterious than the original Snow White fairytale that we are used to. The whole movie was fast paced and kept me interested throughout. The constant movement of the protagonists and frequent change of setting meant that it was impossible to become bored. It also allowed for a whole host of fascinating settings and varying characters which made for a fun film.
The film was mostly serious but still had that light-hearted fairytale feel to it which kept it fresh and prevented it from becoming too dark. The fun element mainly came in the form of the dwarves who were well scripted and brought comedy to the film which livened it up a bit. As expected there is a certain level of romance except it is very limited and nothing romantic actually happens, it is more a suggestion of possible romance between the characters. Despite it being so subtle I think it was necessary for the film but I think it would have benefited from developing the romance more and allowing it to become more of a key part of the film. However I suppose they may not have wanted to detract from the main storyline too much.
The acting in the film didn't blow me away but was ok. Kristen Stewart surprised me and played her role well, yet I felt the role became her and was very similar to Bella from Twilight. I get the feeling that she cant adapt to playing different roles but does a good job of playing herself, but perhaps I will be proven wrong by future films she stars in.. I thought Charlize Theron portrayed an excellent evil Queen and did very well and being wicked yet beautiful at the same time. Chris Hemsworth who plays the Huntsman was ok but nothing exciting. I have already seen him in Thor and Avengers Asemble, and like with Kristen Stewart I feel he is being cast in quite easy roles that aren't a challenge to him.
The production of the sets and special effects were probably the most inspiring thing about the film. It was obvious a lot of effort and money had been put towards the production of the settings and it was spectacular. The village and castle look superb and so believable, and the dark forest was genuinely scary. There is a lot of attention to detail in every set and the result is amazing! There were also several moments where special effects were used, such as when the Evil Queen takes the beauty from a young villager and we watch her face gradually go from old to youthful. The special effects were of an amazing quality and really believable.
This is a fun film which gives a new take on a story most of us already know. The acting isnt anything to write home about but it is worth watching to enjoy the amazing effects and set production, and for the fast paced, engaging storyline. I enjoyed watching it at the cinema but wont be rushing to watch it again on DVD.
About the film
Snow White and the Huntsman is an action/ fantasy film that is based on the story of Snow White by the Brothers Grimm. The film was released at cinemas on 30th May and is rated 12A due to scenes of a violent nature. The film has a run time of 127 minutes.
As a child, Snow White's mother always told her that she and her beauty was pure and one day it could save her. When her mother dies, Snow White's father, the King is inconsolable until he meets Ravenna. Ravenna, disguised as a hostage, captures the King's heart with her beauty and only the next day they get married. Ravenna is actually a powerful witch and has conquered several of kingdoms and plans to take over the entire continent. She soon learns from her Magic Mirror that she will be overthrown by her stepdaughter Snow White, who will also surpass her as the "Fairest of Them All." After killing the King, Ravenna imprisons Snow White in the tower, never to be thought of again.
Years later, Snow White finally manages to escape the tower and into to Dark Forest. Queen Ravenna summons Eric, a Huntsman to track down Snow White and bring her back so that she can consume her heart. Instead, Snow White manages to talk Eric into taking her to see a long lost old friend in an attempt to bring down the Queen. With the help of a set of dwarves, Snow White begins to plot how to get rid of Ravenna once and for all.
Kristen Stewart as Snow White
Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna
Chris Hemsworth as Eric, The Huntsman
Sam Claflin as Prince William
Lily Cole as Greta
Sam Spruell as Finn
Vincent Regan as Duke Hammond
Noah Huntley as King Magnus
Liberty Ross as Snow White's mother
Christopher Obi Ogugua as the voice of The Mirror
Ian McShane as Beith
Johnny Harris as Quert
Bob Hoskins as Muir
Toby Jones as Coll
Eddie Marsan as Duir
Brian Gleeson as Gus
Ray Winstone as Gort
Nick Frost as Nion
What I thought
When I first heard about this film, I was in two minds about whether or not I wanted to see it. While I loved the idea of a retelling and that Charlize Theron would play the step-mother, I HATE Kristen Stewart and her alone put me off. However, I bit the bullet and went to see it anyway.
Snow White and the Huntsman puts a fresh and exciting twist on a very classic fairy tale. The opening of the film, showing Snow White with her mother before she dies paints a very romantic picture of family and what they mean to each other. However brief it may have been, the relationship between Snow White and her mother was very special and touching to watch. There is also the sweet relationship between Snow White and her childhood friend William to discover. This is where the niceties stop though.
After her mother's death, Snow White's father, the King remarries the evil and devious Ravenna. It soon becomes clear that Ravenna is a witch and has been around for a very long time. Charlize Theron is one of my favourite actresses and I was so happy to see her in this role. Theron has the ability to play any role, both nice and bad and this film really shows her acting ability. As Ravenna, Theron is seriously evil and scary. She's mean, selfish and only does things that will benefit herself, no matter the outcome to others. For me, Theron was the perfect evil witch and she was just completely outstanding in this role.
What I fail to believe is that Kristen Stewart is more beautiful and fair than Charlize Theron. The whole point of this fairy tale is that Snow White is extremely beautiful and I just don't believe this to be true, especially next to Theron. To me, Stewart is quite plain looking and nothing special as an actress so I think that this role could have been cast differently and it would have been better in general. However, even though before this film I hated Stewart, I didn't completely hate her this time around. As Bella Swan, she bugs me to death and I find her wooden and boring. As Snow White, she shows a little more promise. Stewart gives the character courage and strength, showing Snow White to not be a timid little girl waiting for someone to come and rescue her. She can do that all on her own. The problem with this character is that she doesn't really say much. That actually wasn't a problem for me though as I thought it made Stewart a better actress.
Playing the Huntsman is Thor actor, Chris Hemsworth. As a big, strong butch looking man, Hemsworth was a great choice for the role although not the first choice apparently. The Huntsman was a very troubled character with no idea who Snow White actually was for the majority of the film which clouded her in a sense of mystery. Although playing a strong character, Hemsworth gave the character a softer, sensitive side which made him more likeable overall. As characters go, the Huntsman is the one whose past we get to see the most into. Other characters in this film don't have too much development but luckily, this one does.
The dwarves were by far my favourite thing about this film. Instead of having cute names, these dwarves are drunkards who trap people in the middle of nowhere. Once we start to get to know the dwarves though, it is clear to see that there is much more to them than meets the eye. The leader of the dwarves, Muir, knows exactly who Snow White is and believes that she has something special within her. Once the other dwarves believe the same thing, they see Snow White in a different light and are filled with hope. The dwarves as a whole are a funny set of characters each with their own distinct personalities.
Snow White and the Huntsman is an action packed film which is very different from any other version of this story that I have ever seen or read. This film has a little something for everyone with the action, hot men, beautiful women and a bit of romance thrown in too. I really enjoyed this film a hell of a lot more than I was expecting to and I'm quite surprised to say it but it was partly because I didn't hate Kristen Stewart.
After hearing mixed reviews about this film I was in two minds about watching it. I really love the original Disney movie and though recent adaptations have been a little hit or miss (Alice in Wonderland...) I thought this would be a story that would translate really well to film. Then I heard Kristen Stewart was playing Snow White and I decided I definitely didn't want to see it...but then I reminded myself that Charlize Theron is in it and that tipped me way back in favour of seeing it.
The cast is pretty amazing actually, if you take my dislike for Kristen Stewart out of the equation. Charlize Theron plays the evil queen Ravenna (...and she is amazing!) and Chris Hemsworth plays the Huntsmen. There are also smaller roles played by Lily Cole, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost and Brian Gleeson, among others. I thought the casting was pretty good all in all, and Chris Hemsworth is definitely a welcome addition. They actually give him a larger role than you would expect given the part of the huntsmen in the disney film but given his sex appeal I can definitely see why they have done this.
Watching the trailer you can see that they have tried to pitch this movie at both men and women and also include children (this film is rated a 12a). The film does not disappoint in this way, I went with my boyfriend and both of us enjoyed it - probably for entirely different reasons. It sticks to the disney plotline fairly closely, with a little added detail at the beginning and end. This means there is a decent amount of 'fairytale' appeal for women and girls, there is also the romance strand which has a female audience pull. This doesn't actually come in until fairly late on in the movie, though it is hinted at throughout. For the men and boys there is an abundance of amazing special effects, there are also swords and plenty of fighting. My boyfriend likened it a little to Game of Thrones in the sense that it has a medieval setting, family rivalry, stealing of thrones and dwarves. That may be stretching it a little far but I can see his point, and the audience definitely were split half male half female so perhaps it has worked. What I liked best about it the film is that it is dark and ominous in the same way that the original German folk tale is. Though I love Disney they did take dark and scary traditional tales and make them, for the most part, light and fluffy. This film is certainly not light and fluffy and in this way sticks to the original story very closely.
The plot does not deviate very far from the Disney plot - though obviously involves a greater deal of detail necessary for a film this length. As an audience you get a better idea of how the evil queen have come to be in control of the kingdom. In this film she uses her magic and beauty to enchant the recently widowed King, who she then kills with a dagger to the heart in their wedding night. She imprisons Snow White in a tower for many years and ultimately decides to kill her and devour her beating heart when the magic mirror tells her that there is one destined to be more beautiful than she. Snow White escapes but is pursued by Ravenna's brother and later the Huntsmen. When the Huntsmen is refused his payment he escapes with the princess and guides her to safety. They meet the dwarves who are initially suspicious but eventually decide to follow her to kill the evil queen. One of my favourite parts was the bit with the poisoned apple simply because (and I won't spoil the plot) I was not expecting it at all, despite knowing the original storyline. This was a great twist, as was the eventual ending to the film.
They do slightly tweak the love story in this film, there is no prince and the battle for Snow White's heart is between childhood friend and the huntsmen. I won't spoil this part of the film for you either but needless to say it isn't quite what you would expect given the plot of the disney film. Ultimately, I think they have stuck to the plot and deviated from it in the perfect way. I like that they have changed things, as a viewer it keeps you interested but you also aren't annoyed by them changing too much of the plot you expect. I think the way in which they have filmed it is also really great, the special effects are amazing and the scenery is beautiful.
So my only real issues with this film are probably the length and Snow White. The film is 127 minutes long (2 hours and 7 minutes) which for me is probably half an hour too long. I found towards the end of the film I was becoming uncomfortable from having sat for too long and a little restless. There are definitely parts of the film they could have cut down in length and also bits they probably could have done without altogether. That said, I still came out having really enjoyed the film so it didn't entirely spoil my viewing of it. Snow White, however, was pretty much everything I had expected of Kristen Stewart in this role: pouty, moody, stern and a little dull. That sounds overlay harsh and it probably is but I do feel that she is probably unsuited to this role. Not that this modern incarnation of the princess needs to be all smiles and giggles but perhaps a smile once the queen has been defeated and she has reclaimed her crown isn't too much to ask for? I just know I wasn't wholly convinced by her, though her acting was better than I had expected.
So, would I recommend this film? Yes, overall I really liked it and I did enjoy watching the film. Go and watch it and see how your opinion matches up with the critics.
Once Upon a Time, there was a magical place called Hollywood Land. This was a lovely, happy place where everyone was kind to each other and where they made Magic Lantern shows that brought joy and happiness to the whole wide world.
One day a wicked witch called The Studio came to Hollywood Land with a nasty new idea: instead of making films to make people happy, why not make films to make people money? Overnight the happy land of Hollywood became a place of misery: full of dull, drab films, endless sequels and remakes. In its hour of need, is there a plucky hero who can restore Hollywood Land to its fairy tale past when films were simple, straightforward and fun?
Sorry to be blunt and prick the fairy tale bubble, but there it is. Early signs were promising, the trailer looked good and hopes were high. In this particular tale of good vs. evil, however, good does not come out on top. It's little more than a cynical attempt to re-tell Snow White for anyone who liked the Twilight films (and goodness, wasn't there a depressingly large number of them?)
In keeping with the format of fairy tales and fables, this is the traditional Snow White story wrapped up in the Emperor's New Clothes. One or two relatively insignificant tweaks aside, this is the tale you will remember from childhood or which you still read to your own children. The tale of a wicked queen, the wronged, sweet princess, seven gentlemen of pint-sized stature, poisoned apples and the quest to rid the land of evil. As such, it has a timeless appeal that should prove attractive across the generations and be enjoyed by young and old alike.
Unfortunately, Snow White falls at the first hurdle. In order to appeal to everyone, it aims for that difficult style - the dark fairy tale. To appeal to children, the storytelling is simple, straightforward and shows lots of imagination. Unfortunately, it's a bit too simple and straightforward for adults and far too slim to support a two-hour plus run time. For adults, it's not dark enough and pulls its punches when it comes to the consequences of meddling with magic (shots of people aging years in a matter of seconds are seriously toned down). Yet for younger children of a sensitive nature, these same sequences may prove a little disturbing. By aiming for multiple audiences, Snow White ultimately misses almost all of them and lacks that little bit of fairy dust that modern takes on classic tales need.
One thing the film does have going for it is the imagery and imagination. The land of Snow White is an impressive place that combines mundane medieval imagery (castles, knights, swords) with fantastical elements (fairies, magical harts, cute and helpful wildlife). It uses this imagery well to convey ideas and emotions: the stark black and white imagery of the film and the washed out colours represent good, evil and decay, respectively. Shots are all framed very well to convey ideas of danger, fear or other emotions.
Snow White also benefits from some surprisingly impressive special effects which really help to create a fairy tale world. From the atmospheric wasteland of the Dark Forest and an early appearance by a well-animated troll (even if it is a blatant rip-off of the ones from Lord of the Rings) through to the Nail Monsters at the end, everything looks good. When the screen suddenly bursts into vibrant colour at the film's mid-point (when our heroes reach Sanctuary -the magical forest) it is a reminder that the writer and director have a clear vision of how they view Snow White's fairy tale world, and they have the talent and imagination to render this on-screen effectively.
Better still; unlike some films Snow White does not over-use special effects. It doesn't feel like an onslaught on the sense, nor do the effects become tiresome. Instead, they are used sparingly and effectively and contribute immeasurably towards establishing Snow White's fairy tale world as a "real place".
Unfortunately, most people don't watch a film for the directing or even the special effects. Personally, I'd rather have old-fashioned things like story, acting or even just some good old fashioned action.
Unfortunately, Snow White scores pretty low in these areas and the acting leaves much to be desired. Chris Hemsworth demonstrates the same level of acting ability he brought to Thor (that is to say, none) and creates a bland cardboard cut-out Huntsman where a gruff man of action should stand. Kristen Stewart is dull as ditch water and far too weedy to convince as a leader. She's about as motivational as a wet weekend in Bognor. Charlize Theron tries her best to bring some wicked witch magic as Ravenna, the evil Queen. Unfortunately, she tries a little bit too hard and her shouty, pouty performance seems more like a stroppy teenager who can't get her own way, rather than a powerful enchantress. On the other hand, given that the core demographic for this film is clearly teenage girls, maybe that's exactly what she was aiming for?
Things brighten up immeasurably when the Magnificent Seven (Dwarfs) finally turn up. A mixture of familiar faces from TV and film, they blend well together as a "team". Their dialogue and bickering is amusing and brings some much needed light relief to proceedings, acting as a counter-balance to some of the portentous, cheesy dialogue elsewhere. They are never reduced to the role of comic relief but have a serious role to play as well.
Unfortunately, the dwarves themselves turn up fairly late on (by which time the attention of many a viewer will already have wandered) and they get relatively little screen time to showcase their abilities. It's a real shame they weren't better served by the script, because there is no doubt that (effects aside) they are easily the best thing in it.
Action sequences are just about OK, but they don't really do anything new and the mass battles in particular can sometimes become confusing. At 127 minutes, Snow White is also far too long. The lack of any real substance to the plot soon becomes apparent and things start to drag. The wonders of Snow White's world are initially appealing to both adults and children alike, but as things plod on, both will become increasingly fidgety.
One thing is for certain: if Snow White is a favourite story to help get your children to sleep, then this film adaptation will succeed admirably. Put this on and everyone watching it will be in severe danger of falling asleep for one hundred years.
I really wouldn't advise buying this is you want to live Happily Ever After.
Snow White and the Huntsman
Director: Rupert Sanders
Running time: approx. 127 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2012
When it comes to beauty, it is easy to wonder just what Charlize Theron has to worry about. She asks her magic mirror the age-old question; "Who is fairest of them all?" The mirror, which turns into a magical gooey creature, in its infinite wisdom and benevolence, answers that it is Queen Ravenna (Theron) who is the most beautiful in the land. Not so surprising and hardly difficult to believe, given how gob-smackingly stunning she looks here. She also puts on a devilishly sexy English accent, which all the more boosts her appeal. But hold on, the mirror is not finished. There is someone destined to surpass her. And this is none other than her stepdaughter, Snow White (Kristen Stewart). If you pit one against the other, it becomes obvious early on that both in terms of talent and beauty, Theron thoroughly outclasses the helpless young princess. So don't begrudge yourself for secretly siding with the Queen throughout.
But it turns out the Queen is an evil tyrant whose insecurity has driven to do insane things. Her country is a war-torn mess of a dump, and in order to preserve her beauty, she sucks "youth" out of many innocent young women. When she hears her eternal beauty will be maintained if she consumes Snow's heart, you know she will stop at nothing to achieve exactly that. So imagine her shrieking anger when Snow manages to escape. The guard in charge, her brother, deservedly gets a massive slap, and in comes the scruffy but angry and aggressive huntsman (Chris Hemsworth). And he is the unexpected hero of this tale as he finds it in his heart to help instead of hack the young girl. He goes directly against the Queen's explicit orders, and decides to join Snow in her quest to overthrow and reintroduce the rightful heir to the throne, i.e. the young princess herself.
Causing a slight kink in this potential love-line is William (Sam Claflin), the Prince Charming-type character who was a close childhood friend of the princess. When Ravenna murdered her new husband the King and took over his kingdom, William managed to escape with his father the Duke, who now tries to lead a resistance against the Queen, whereas the young princess couldn't flee. Learning of her survival years later, he vows to find her and never let her go. He makes a rash decision to join the enemy's Snow White search party in the hopes of finding his first and possibly only love of his life.
Already, there are plenty of characters to develop and juggle. And for the most part, all the leads are given proper attention to, with actors more than merely looking the part. Oscar-winning Theron steals the show whenever her deliciously over-the-top, mentally unstable and dangerous Queen appears. She represents anything and everything related to death and decay, and her darkly majestic presence is truly a major casting highlight, which would explain why Theron has taken centre stage in much of the film's advertising. The film also provides a brief glimpse into her past and the abuse she witnessed as a child, which partly explains her constant wrath and fiery impulses. Although this undermines the evil stature of the character, the vulnerability Theron brings out in someone who was never expected to arouse an ounce of sympathy is an impressive feat, and introduces an interesting angle on a fascinating villain.
Her only realistic nemesis and one who can put an end to the wicked Queen's curse is Stewart. What she may lack superficially in looks, she makes up for by carrying innocence and general goodness. It is told that Snow possesses rare beauty...in her heart, and that this will eventually vanquish evil. It sounds all too cheesy and childish, and the grown-up Stewart doesn't exactly look like the poster child of untainted purity, but it's her blossoming confidence and representation of "life" she carries that translates well on the screen. The nervous, twitching looks Stewart cannot shake off in any film she stars in do serve her well here, as with these she can convincingly look weak and worried.
Of the two men, coming out on top is Hemsworth, who trades in his usual weapon of choice, a Norse hammer, for some axes, assisting the princess with his macho charisma. He does also get a crucial scene of sentimentality that the actor handles with touching poise. Sharing a little less screen time is Claflin, last seen in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" as the priest who lost more and more clothing as the film progressed. Here he's given as little to work with as he did in Rob Marshall's mediocre "Pirates" entry, and the single memorable aspect about his character is his considerable archery skills. Other than that he has a small role to play in the end, and his interaction with his childhood sweetheart goes disappointingly unaddressed.
Staying loyal to the tale of Snow White, the audience gets the meet the dwarves as well as the infamous poisoned apple. The dwarves are the most underdeveloped group of the lot, and we just have to settle for watching them as mild comic relief. But given the predominantly British talent involved (Ray Winstone, Toby Jones, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan etc), it must be said there was a lot more potential to make something more out of these guys than to use them for a few comic scenes involving the sewer.
Focusing back and forth between the Queen's castle where she is plotting her next move against her stepdaughter and Snow White's justice journey, first-time director Rupert Sanders finds a simple yet effective way of weaving all the strands together. He throws in a whole load of extended shots of beautiful scenery capturing all sorts of landscapes and different weathers. It's nothing inventive or particularly original, but they serve their purpose, offering smooth transitions between scenes.
The action remains small-scale throughout, and despite the disappointing final showdown with the Queen, the rest of the pulse-racing action is filmed with focus and energy. Whenever you feel the narrative is slowing down slightly, Sanders brings back the healthy pace with bursts of energy stemming from the well-choreographed, compact action. It is long overall, with scenes that could have worked just as well, if not better in a shorter time period, but along with all the cute furry animals also making an appearance, this two-hour long spectacle is well worth sitting through, if not only for Theron's magnificently ferocious turn.
From the producers of 'Alice in Wonderland', comes another fairy tale modernisation, this time in the form of Snow White. The similarities between the two films are immediately obvious but that is a good thing as this film is also truly beautiful.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
After her mother died, Snow White's (Kristen Stewart) father, the King remarried Ravenna (Charlize Theron) who charmed him with her beauty. Upon killing him, she takes her place as the evil Queen of the land, trapping the young Snow White within her castle.
When Snow White escapes into the Great Forest, Ravenna makes a deal with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to find Snow White. But when Ravenna breaks her promise, The Huntsman turns and aids Snow White in defeating the evil Queen.
The first thing to notice is just how beautiful and dramatic the setting is. Much like 'Alice in Wonderland', the imaginative set, creatures and fantasy world is provocative and mesmerising. I thought the sanctuary was very Avatar-esque but stunning.
At two hours long, the build up was slow but did not bore. Whilst some of the scenes seem to drag out, it did add a bit more depth to the characters and I felt the ending was compromised because of this. The final scenes felt rushed and unsatisfying. What should've been a climatic final battle turned into a puny cat fight between Snow White and the evil Queen.
And whilst you'd expect some sort of catharsis to finish the movie off, it was stale and the romantic potential built up in the film was lost as the final credits began to roll- leaving you incomplete.
Kristen Stewart- Snow White
Chris Hemsworth- The Huntsman
Charlize Theron- Ravenna, the evil Queen
Charlize Theron was flawless and was utterly genuine to watch as the evil queen. You just love to hate her and she looked absolutely fantastic in all her different outfits and stylings.
Kristen Stewart, however, was a bit dead in terms of expression. The most range she gave was when she managed to squeeze a tiny tiny smile at the edge of her mouth. For 99% of the movie she just looked lost, confused and dead in the eyes. I've never seen her in any movies and I didn't want to watch this movie with bias on her acting ability, but she definitely lived up to her reputation.
Chris Hemsworth was raw as the huntsman and having just seen The Avengers, I felt like he had the same feeling- hopefully he doesn't get role-stuck as these strong masculine characters that are all the same! I felt he could have had more emotion.
Visually, 'Snow White and the Huntsman' is pure bliss for the eyes, but a disproportionate plot and dragged out pace hindered the movie from being the best it could be. Charlize Theron was stunning in this movie, but was let down by an emotionless Kristen Stewart. Overall, it is a strong film but lacks a climatic ending to really conclude the dramatic tale with a BANG.