I was so looking forward to this trend of new age spins on old school Fairytales. It’d be cool to see such fantastical stories being told with the technology of today. Or so I thought. SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNSTMAN was a very cool concept with some missteps which ended in a whole shit load of sucky.
The opening volley of this new concept, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNSTMAN is obviously based on the classic story of “Snow White & The Seven Dwarves.” The story is tweaked here and there to provide more of an action adventure feel, and the introduction of a new character.
The story of SNOW WHITE… is about how a treacherous Queen has usurped a kingdom with magic. Thriving on the beauty of other girls, the Queen is an evil witch who reigns with terror and death. Hidden away in her prison tower, is the daughter of the original King, alive due to her insane beauty, which seems to be the source of all life in the Magical Kingdom. Due to a twist of Fate, the Princess escapes and is lost to the Queen’s forces.
In the search of the princess, the Queen, seeks an expert tracker to bring her back. Enter the titular ‘Huntsman’. Who seeks the princess, but ends up becoming her protector, as she makes her way to the rebel forces loyal to her, so she can incite a coup and take back her kingdom. Thus reinstating life and beauty and perfect meadows and all that good stuff. An innovative concept added to the Snow White story that I don’t believe was present in the original. Somehow during this original and fresh take, things gets convoluted and messed up along the way.
Kristen Stewart might be remembered as playing that pale ass, whiny bitch that had an excessive hair gel fetish from those TWILIGHT movies. She plays Snow White in this one. One word: miscast. Stewart cannot act for the life of her. Her range of emotions goes from blank, to looking like she’s breathing. So to put her in a role that requires us to feel sympathy for and be rooting for her character renders the entire point of the story, completely moot. The only apropos casting of Stewart as Snow White, is the fact that she really is that damn pale skinned.
Charlize Theron is a powerhouse actor in any role you put her in. She’s solidified herself in performances like MONSTER and put herself the A-list of actresses. She’s no different in this movie. Theron’s performance as the evil Queen is awesome. Bar none. Her chops are on full display as she contorts and twists her entire psyche into a role of utter psychological grotesque-ness. But there’s a fuck up with this too. It’s too fucked up.
Hear me out. Throughout the film, we see Theron’s Queen as being this eternally angry and desperate woman, ruling her kingdom with fear and mystical powers. But even in her private moments, the Queen seems like she’s in constant pain. Never once does she seem to actually like being Queen, despite trying so hard to stay being Queen. Every scene is filled with her yelling, or in anguish or pining for something. It makes no sense. I was almost more compelled to feel sorry for the Queen, rather than Snow white. This inexplicable layer to the Queen, made it seem like there was more to her than just being an ‘evil bitch’, but there wasn’t, so it made no sense.
The plot doesn’t serve the story that well either. There is another original take on the whole ‘true love’s kiss’ awakening her from her slumber, but it’s SO subtle that I fear most audiences would miss it. The last act plays out clumsily with the ‘siege’ on the Queen’s castle neither epic, nor awesome.
Chris Hemsworth is pretty good as the Huntsman, but his significance to the story disappears after the 1st act. The rest is just filler material. If I had to pick one draw back to SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNSTMAN, it would most definitely have to be Kristen Stewart. I neither felt, cared nor gave a shit about anything she was trying to do through out the film. Which makes the crucial scene of her dramatically rallying soldiers behind her cause… completely ineffective.
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN was an innovative concept of modernizing a fairytale classic, but the modernization suffered from errors and missteps along the way, which rendered the entire experience completely unwatchable. It’s not even a fun or entertaining movie.
- ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ Director Rupert Sanders to Make Alfred Bester’s Sci-Fi Tale ‘The Juliet’ (slashfilm.com)