Saturday, 9 June 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

The fairy tale that we all know from our childhood. Beautiful princess, evil stepmother, dwarves – sounds familiar, doesn’t it? But here is the twist: take this story, add a lot of gothic style to it, pepper it with stunning visuals, make it slightly creepy, invite the most popular actors and actresses to produce dark story, which won’t even remotely remind of the original tale. This is Snow White and the Huntsman for you.

In a search for some interesting plots, the movie industry has gone crazy. Any story that can be turned into a movie is snatched at a snap of fingers and transformed. Sometimes this is good, and we see really exciting impressions of old stories, Watchmen being my best example. But I personally believe there are stories that should not be touched – and fairy tales from the childhood is just one of those stories. So I definitely did not like the fact that there are two (!) movies based on Snow White – this one and Mirror Mirror. And I am glad to admit that I was wrong.

Screenwriters used Snow White story only as source of inspiration, instead of using it word-to-word. They transformed the story beyond the recognition – it is very slick, stylish and gothic, without even a hint of sweetness of traditional fairy tales. The plot is a pleasure to watch, even though there are not that many surprising turns or characters that we would like to see developed. The story serves only as the basement for the feast of fantastic visuals, the taste of which can be gauged by looking at the trailer.  Charcoal monsters, black slick oily dress of the Queen, and the Mirror, of course – they are done with love and cherish, and they look amazing; definitely something authors should be proud of. The atmosphere is there too: dark, creepy, certainly unusual, captivating and balanced. Mushrooms with eyes, sarcastic dwarves, scarecrows and battle on the seashore – all definitely looks organic in the setting and visually impressive.

The other beautiful component of the movie is Charlize Theron. I cannot emphasise enough how good she is. She absolutely rocks – she looks dangerous, charming and sexy. She really impressed me. She managed to make a multi-faceted character out of a plain villain. Her dresses are well thought and fit her perfectly; every single appearance on the screen feels like Christmas or some other happy occasion.

But then comes the part where the authors betrayed themselves. Kristen Stewart. It is clear as day that she was invited only to add to the popularity of the show, to attract young girls-fans of one infamous movie about vampires. And that was a mistake – I personally still think that Kristen should play poker with her range of facial emotions. She plays anger, fear, smile, embarrassment and death with exactly the same expression and it is beyond my understanding why she cannot release her talents, which should be there, so that she can finally get rid of the poisonous image of Bella she is associated with. In this movie she plays so badly, she drags the whole movie down. It is painful to look at her, and I only wished there were less of her.
I think she expresses joy here. Not entirely sure though

Chris Hemsworth, who swapped his hammer of Thor to axe of Huntsman and got rid of blonde hair, was also invited to get the movie popular and to play the very manly man, but he flopped as well and looked alien to the whole setting of the movie, as if he travelled through time.

So overall the movie is definitely a great watch, it is stylish, dark and thrilling, closer to the Pan’s Labyrinth than to the Alice in the Wonderland. But unfortunately Kristen Stewart ruined potentially great movie, leaving it only with a title of “Definitely worth watching on a big screen”, which is still way better than I expected.


  1. Good review, but I'm afraid I can't agree with you on this movie. I felt Theron overacted and was one of the lesser parts of the film. The shakycam ruined most of the action scenes and there was no emotional connection to the characters for me. The horses pounding through the surf was a very good scene, though.

    1. Maybe my reaction is due to pretty low expectations? I honestly expected some dull and boring movie, but saw decent visuals. Maybe I am not fully objective, too, favouring stylish gothic theme...

      Thank you for the opinion!