Snow White and the Huntsman
Snow White and the Huntsman: Pretty face suffering from outbreak of unoriginality
Hollywood’s latest adaption of the classic Snow White tale,Snow White and the Huntsman, is probably not the fairest of them all, but is certainly not an ugly evil queen. The movie’s strong suit is its special effects, which add a new grisly, morbid angle to the familiar tale. However, the film doesn’t bring anything new or startlingly original to the world of movies, making this an easy-to-skip flick.
The story works just as advertised. Starring Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman, it’s the classic Snow White tale, except this time set in a universe where war runs rampant and deadly creatures lurk in the forest just outside the kingdom, among other tweaks.
What I’m about to say might shock you, but Kristen Stewart didn’t do a bad job. Not to say she was great. For most of the film she maintained her depressed, unattached aura that she portrays as Bella Swan in the Twilight franchise, despite playing a character who is known for her radiant happiness and innocence in this movie. The script is to blame, however, for giving Stewart very few moments to portray the classic character’s innocence and kindness. This version of Snow White was kept prisoner in a filthy room with nothing for entertainment but a small window and a pile of dead bugs almost her entire life. About an hour after she escapes her twelve years of confinement in the tower, she ends up in a forest designed to give her the worst death imaginable. A day or so after that she finds herself leading a war charge against her mean stepmom, the power-hungry, shape-shifting, vain, all around evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron). There really wasn’t a lot for Stewart to sing to the hummingbirds about. She could have stepped away from her comfort zone with this role more than she did, but the writing is also at fault.
By far the best part of the movie was the visuals. The sets, particularly the Dark Forest and the queen’s castle, gave an authentic medieval feel and conveyed the film’s mood well. The graphics team took pride in their designs, constantly showcasing either blobby, eerie effects (the Mirror’s humanlike embodiment, Queen Ravenna’s mysterious bath and transformation from a pack of ravens) or intricate splendors (the crumbling metal soldiers, Ravenna’s cloud of deadly spinning shards). The highlight of the film was the fairy ‘Sanctuary’, home to an impressive variety of CGI miniscule imps, plant-like tortoises and a mystical albino stag. My favorite was the tortoise. Why didn’t Mirror think the tortoise was the fairest of them all? It’s so underrated!
Unfortunately, outside of the Sanctuary, the movie struggled to produce anything original and memorable. As Snow White stumbled through the Dark Forest, I found myself wondering why the Witch King from Lord of the Rings was following her. This comparison continued later when I briefly thought the movie was playing the iconic theme music from the same franchise. The film’s middle third dragged, bogged down by the fact that every aspect of their cliché journey across the land and the subtly developing love triangle has been done before, and probably better. With the release of Mirror, Mirror earlier this year and the premiere ABC’s show Once Upon A Time, Snow White adaptions have earned a long break.
Snow White and the Huntsman is an okay choice for casual movie-going this summer. In all likelihood, I, Mirror, won’t name this movie the fairest of them all at summer’s end. It still was a visual treat, but tainted with the poison of unoriginality.