PJV Quickie: The most stunning of this movie’s features had to be the landscape. The cliffs, the forest, the castle were all breathtaking and showcased in great detailed the epic wonderland that is Scotland and England, where it was filmed. Snow White and the Huntsman though is sort of a veritable mish-mash of ideas from different movies and series, like a blending of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. I suggest appreciating it for it’s dramatic effects and not for it’s originality.
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)Director: Rupert Sanders
Writers: Evan Daugherty (screenplay), John Lee Hancock (screenplay)
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron
Released: June 1, 2012
Production Co: Roth Films, Universal Pictures
Having to “sneak” away to view this one on my own, because the hubs was explicitly not going to view this one, I had to wait until a week after release. Being on my own though, does help me appreciate a movie more. If I were to attend with my girlfriends, like my first viewing of ‘The Hunger Games’ no matter what, there is always cause for distraction. Snickers at the tears, whispers about — “it didn’t happen like that in the book”, bathroom breaks, because we snuck in that bottle of wine (ok just kidding, maybe a little bit). Yet, alone, it is just you and the movie, so I actually think I enjoyed it more. I gave Kristen Stewart more acting credit and just allowed myself to appreciate the movie for it’s visual effects. Which of course were epic.
The story is an interpretation of the classic tale of Snow White. A loving father, with a young girl child, loses his wife early and decides to remarry a very beautiful woman he finds being held by a mysterious and enchanted army. As soon as they are wed, the Queen shows her evil intentions and kills the King and the kingdom erupts into war. Snow White tries to escape, but is taken by the Queen’s guards and locked in a tower for almost a decade. The Queen’s power is based on her beauty, so she uses young, beautiful women as “fuel” and constantly has to check her power by use of the mirror, coining the famous phrase over and over again “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.”
The interpretation of the mirror that comes to life for only the Queen was quite interesting and I enjoyed that piece of the movie highly, along with all the evil goings-on that occurred in the Queen’s private chamber. Charlize Theron was a veritable power-house in this film, stunning in her acting and looks. The make-up artists have to be commended also, for their transformation of the beauty from gorgeous to hideous and back again.
Upon asking the mirror one day who is the fairest, the mirror comes back and says there is another, Snow White and for her to remain beautiful forever she must consume Snow’s heart. The Queen is overcome, because Snow is still in her tower, locked away. Yet, not for long, because on trying to bring her to the Queen, the Queen’s brother shows himself inept and Snow escapes into the dark forest. The Queen’s power is useless in the forest so she must find someone to pursue the girl. With promises of resurrecting his dead wife, the Queen sends the Huntsman after the girl and so begins the journey of Snow White and her attempt to over-thrown the evil Queen and regain her father’s kingdom.
Like I stated earlier, the landscape is the best part of this film. The sweeping cliff shots and the fantastical fairy forest were amazing. Second, was Charlize and the special effects that revolved around her magic. The Queen can become a flock of black bird and there is one scene where the Queen is injured and the birds just splat into the floor as they return to the Queen’s Chamber…sickly fantastic. But, also with these great CGI techniques, the film also puts a lot of emphasis on the actors and just shots within the forest which do not seem to be enhanced. They go from cliff-side castle, to highly CGI’d Forrest, to an actual forest and then to rivers…it was definitely a journey, taking into account both the fantastical and the real world.
Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman was also well-done. But, the role was made for his acting style, at least he had more of a down-to-earth feel in this one than his usual hijinks as Thor. He also morphed into that tortured hero very well, even though as the movie progressed I was a little freaked out to think that he and Kristen Stewart might pair-up. I can only base this on my viewing of the two actors, Hemsworth in my mind being such a man and Stewart, such an adolescent. Then on to the topic of Kristen Stewart, I would have seen a more beatific character in the role of Snow White, you know the whole fairies flying around, birds chirping and deers bowing before her, conjures up images of actresses like Saoirse Ronan or Carey Mulligan. Yet, I do understand that they were using Kristen Stewart for her star power with the fantasy, young adult crowd. But, her acting skills were a bit to be desired, though relatively on the, not so obvious, scale. Her lines were very little, Charlize and Chris taking the brunt of the acting, whereas, Stewart did a lot of scenes where she was chased or moving through the forest. I did find her ears were very distracting though and I can not figure out why…
Overall the movie was a wonderful guilty pleasure trip for me. I enjoyed the effects even though the movie had much to be desired on the originality scale, having most of the scenes inspired from other movies. Charlize’s bath scene was reminiscent of Queen of the Damned, the dark forest, seemed like something out Labyrinth, the merry dwarves on the cliff seemed like the were recycled from Lord of the Rings…I could go on and on. Luckily though, I’m not that critical of a movie watcher and I think if you are aiming for entertainment you’ll enjoy Snow White and the Huntsman.All images are from the movie, Snow White and the Huntsman and are the property of Universal Pictures. They are displayed for review purposes only. Movie tickets were purchased and were not in exchange for a review.
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