Snow White and the Huntsman
Snow White and the Huntsman
By Wilson Morales
It may not be the best story adapted from a book (the German fairy tale ‘Snow White’ by the Brothers Grimm) or the best dialogue written, but ‘Snow White and the Huntsman,’ is certainly filled fantastic imagery and production design that outweighs the flaws in the film. Directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth, there’s plenty of substance to satisfy those looking to be intrigued.
In a storyline similar to HBO’s Game of Thrones or Shakespeare’s Hamlet, someone has taken over the kingdom by treachery and it’s up to the chosen one or rightful heir to claim the throne back from tyranny. In this case, the newly married Ravenna (Theron) has murdered her husband, King Magnus (Noah Huntley), on their wedding and stage a coup on the palace. In doing so, she has captured and imprisoned the King’s daughter, Snow White. Due to some witchcraft spell placed on her by her mother, in order to remain beautiful and “the fairest of them all,” she has to literally suck the life of every young woman available. When told by the man in the mirror that Snow White is her albatross to immortality, the new Queen sets to her loyal brother Finn (Sam Spruell) to fetch Snow White for her imminent death.
Snow White, all grown up, manages to get the upper hand on Finn and escapes to the Dark Forest where the Queen’s witchcraft are useless. Snow White encounters all sorts of traps and must evade and Queen’s brother and Eric, the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), a drunken skilled lad who his way around the forest but foolish enough to believe the Queen can bring his loved one back from the dead if he helps her. When he does his job and Snow White is caught, he decided to betray Ravenna when told her powers could never fulfill his one request. The two of them run off seeking Duke Hammond (Vincent Regan), who can perhaps aid her in the fight for her kingdom.
Meanwhile, as the Queen starts to get older as long as Snow White is on the loose, she continues to kill every woman in sight to sustain her beauty. Snow White and the Huntsman travel to the woods and forest, when they come upon a number of dwarves (Ian McShane, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Brian Gleeson, Johnny Harris) who initially don’t take a liking to them. With the Queen and dark power gaining closer, Finn brings on a new henchman (Ciafin), who’s actually Prince William and really there to help his childhood friend, Snow White. When she gets to a safe haven, she has to muster the strength to lead not only herself, but the people around her to fight the evil that’s relentless and forthcoming.
Sanders’s background in advertising and video games (Halo 3 ODST) comes in hand here because everything from the set design and costumes look gorgeous and he knows how to make good use of them, especially when Ravenna takes a bath in milk or the sight of fairies. As for the actors, say what you will about Kristen Stewart and whether she can do well outside of the Twilight series, but she gives in a good attempt. While she’s unfortunately is the third wheel behind Hemsworth and Theron’s performances, she held her own and with time, will re-invent herself in this business. Hemsworth seemed suited in his role as the Huntsman. Having used similar action traits from his role as Thor, the role didn’t seem like a stretch for him and he was able to be comfortable being a drunk, so long as there’s a fight or two mixed in. Theron is virtually the showstopper her. From her looks to her costumes, she relished in villainess role. She’s one Queen one doesn’t ever want to see angry. Theron plays the role close to the vest and never lets the role and her actions be campy. The only wasted performances come from the dwarves because they weren’t on screen long enough.
At a running time over two hours, the film could have been trimmed by 10-15 minutes, but overall, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ works because of the impressive debut of Sanders and Theron’s dynamic performance.