Snow White And The Huntsman Movie Review
Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Kristen Stewart as the innocent and inspiring Snow White? Not so much. Charlize Theron as the Bewitching Evil Queen? Getting hotter. The Seven or Eight Dwarves? Funny but not quite. Chris Hemsworth as the axe wielding, surly Huntsman? Ding Ding Ding! My wife and I are in a battle in who loves him more. Unfortunately while I respect his cool commanding screen presence, my wife is after his brooding accent and chiseled good looks. I can’t seem to argue as my wife has teasingly pointed out that rather than shortening the title SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN to Snow White, I have chosen to go with The Huntsman.
After the recently widowed King defeats a mysterious black army, he is intoxicated by the beauty of the unknown rescued prisoner (Theron), marrying her the next day. On their honeymoon the woman reveals herself to be a wicked witch killing the King and imprisoning her step daughter and rightful heir to the throne, Snow White (Stewart). Taking over the kingdom with her pale, white haired creepy brother by her side, the new queen is able to maintain her sorcery of strength and youth by stealing the beauty of young women when they come of age. After revealing that the evil queen is no longer the fairest of them all, the magic mirror explains that the queen may forever be the fairest by eating Snow White’s heart. However, Snow White is also the only one who can destroy her power and overthrow her reign. Escaping to the dark forest, Snow White seems to garner help from the unlikely of places and creatures, including wild animals, some dwarves and a huntsman (Hemsworth) who was originally sent to capture her. With the dangerously magical reach of the Evil Queen, protecting Snow White so she might regain her kingdom will be a difficult task.
While Hemsworth and the other actors do a fine job (yes even Stewart’s constant open mouth, while perhaps not overlooked, can be accepted) the true credit belongs to every aspect surrounding their performance. SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN is a fun adventurous reimagining of a classic fairy tale. The Art Direction, Costume and Makeup are all brilliant and I foresee many nominations come award season. From head to toe, the Evil Queen exudes a dark horrifying beauty through her black feathery dress and bone laden jewelry. Aging from young to old to young again, the makeup and special effects on Charlize Theron transition seamlessly. Theron capitalizes on these assets embodying an over the top wickedness necessary for such an infamous villain.
The editing and pacing at the beginning of the film felt rushed, not giving enough time for the character’s journey, but with only a few commercials and short films to his resume, I can forgive first time director Rupert Sanders for this misstep. Luckily he was surrounded by greater talent and in the grand scheme SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN covers a lot of ground while being inventive and captivating. I have to give big accolades in how the love story was handled without all the pining and overstating the obvious. Where one’s heart belongs is kept more secretive because Snow White’s restoration of the land and the people is more important than lustful desires and that’s a happily ever after story I’ll be happy to share with my children.
If you are looking for a light children’s story, steer clear. This is a darker world without any of the silliness. Familiar characters like Dopey and Doc are replaced with tougher dwarves like Beith and Muir (Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins) and may not make it out alive. Even though there are some magical fairies, cute animals and beautiful flowers, this land is full of monstrous trolls, deathly quicksand and dark spirits. But the contrast between the dark and dreary to the colorful and happy is a site to behold and I foresee SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN to be the beginning for more gritty adult-themed retellings of classic fairy tales.