Snow White and the Huntsman

As many of us are already aware, Walt Disney is widely responsible for convincing the world that fairytales are innocent and wholesome when in fact the original tales are significantly darker than he would have us believe. In this aspect it is therefore quite fitting to have a ‘darker and grittier’ reboot of the tale, this time giving the huntsman, who barely appears in other adaptations, a much meatier role. While this creates a different spin on a timeless story, the huntsman fills the role of Snow White’s hero leaving the dwarves almost obsolete in their own story, not to mention that there are inexplicably eight rather than seven of them.

Undoubtedly one of the biggest flaws with the film is the casting of Kristen Stewart in the lead role. For one it is difficult to see how she could possibly be perceived as ‘fairer’ than Charlize Theron and secondly, while she may have improved ever so slightly since twilight, she still has been unable to shake off her reliance on sullen twitchiness and hair fiddling and is. She barely even musters a smile when they are victorious at the end. In what is meant to be a kick-ass role she is far too passive and pitiful and so sinfully dull you find yourself rooting for the evil queen Ravenna instead. Oscar winner Theron is certainly one of the highlights, and seems to be enjoying hamming it up as a fantasy villain. Apparently she even tore a stomach muscle from all the shrieking the role required. Her intimidating performance is perhaps over dramatic but also quite in keeping with the heightened reality of a fantasy setting especially for a character so unhinged. Providing more insight into her motives, Ravenna’s psychology is much more developed and the audience is shown just why she is so desperate to remain young and beautiful for more reason than just vanity.  Her sweeping and sharp costumes are beautifully designed and much of the production design for the darker magical elements are very well presented, from the putrefying forest, to the crystal-like dark warriors to the iconic mirror which takes on the appearance of molten metal. The positive magical aspects unfortunately do not measure up to the evil side of things and the land of the fairies has a much more clichéd look and is much less visually impressive.

Ultimately Snow White is let down by the script. Many iconic moments from the story are clichéd and the story suffers from too many characters, the dwarves, Huntsman and Prince all vie to fill the heroic role and the love triangle that is set up fails to deliver any real satisfaction. The dwarves consist of some great British actors including Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane and Ray Winston but they are underused. Though it may be marginally better than its rival production, Mirror Mirror, released earlier this year, it would be safest to give this one a miss and stick to the animated version.

Verdict: *

One Response to “Snow White and the Huntsman”
  1. nediunedited says:

    Kristen Stewart ruined this film’s potential, for sure! What a shame.

    I liken her to Keanu Reeves–wooden and expression-challenged–and yet, able to be cast in everything! How does that happen? 😀

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