Snow White and the Huntsman
Dir: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth,
Kristen Stewart, and Bob Hoskins
Fairy tale story doesn’t leave movie goers happily ever after
MONTE YAZZIE ~ THE FOOTHILLS FOCUS~ 6/13/2012
We all know the tale, it begins with the usual “Once Upon A Time” and whisks the audience away to a world of enchantment where good and evil endure in their purest forms. However, there is something to be said for a familiar story being told in an unfamiliar way. That’s where Snow White and the Huntsman exists in regard to the incredible style infused in the reimaging of the classic tale; the storytelling on the other hand is the proverbial poison apple for this film.
The film begins as most well told fairy tales do…with tragedy. The young Snow White loses her mother, who is promptly replaced by the beautiful Ravenna (Charlize Theron). Ravenna is initially seemingly maternal towards Snow White, however after becoming the new Queen she murders the King and takes the thrown for herself, enslaving Snow White in the process. Fast forward a few years and Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is a young woman and Queen Ravenna, who possesses supernatural powers, is no longer “the fairest of them all”. Snow White escapes the grasp of the Queen and ventures into the dark forest, to which the Queen enlists the talents of The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to venture after Snow White.
The cast of the film is fairly recognizable and talented. Charlize Theron anchors the film with her menacing embodiment of Queen Ravenna while Chris Hemsworth does a reasonable job of portraying the emotionally wounded Huntsman. Kristen Stewart might not have been the best choice for the lead Snow White, her one-note emotions do nothing more to separate Stewart’s Snow White from her Twilight character Bella Swan. However, Stewart’s performance is offered assistance by the other strong actors in the film, which helps the overall effect of her character. The film also offers a wonderful portrayal of the dwarves familiar to the story. A who’s who of British actors, Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, and Nick Frost to name a few, are digitally dwarfed and offer a welcome hint of humor to the otherwise dramatic performances from the rest of the cast.
The art design for the dark forest and enchanted land are impressive, as is the set and costume design. The CGI is used to enhance the environments with spectacular flare, and in particular the incarnation of the liquefied mirror who resembles a silhouette of the Grim Reaper. The makeup design should also be credited for making Charlize Theron slightly less beautiful than usual; there are some nice applications for the aging of Ravenna and the individualized form of the dwarves. And, although the battle sequences are ambitious they rank average when compared to the usual medieval battle scenes.
The largest flaw in the film is the storytelling, not because it’s familiar but because it’s lacking any sort of depth; good is good and bad is bad. There are hints into exploring the characters, like some nice flashbacks that give insight into Ravenna’s plight. It doesn’t need to be extensive exploration either, just something more to assist character development.
Overall, Snow White and the Huntsman is entertaining, but I can’t help but think that somewhere lost in the mix of all the fantastic assisting elements is an even better film. Still the art design and a few strong performances are enough to hide the missteps during the process, however it doesn’t last long enough after it’s over to truly leave you happily ever after.
3.50 out of 5.00