Snow White and the Huntsman
2012. 127 min. PG-13.
“Lips red as blood. Hair black as night. Bring me your heart my dear, dear Snow White.”
Mirror, mirror on the wall, show me the worst actress of them all. There’s a reason Kristen Stewart doesn’t have many lines in this movie. The thing about Kristen Stewart is she is an actress who plays Kristen Stewart. If you’re looking for something deeper, try someone else. She is successful in many roles, as long as they are just like Bella Swan from the teen book/movie hit, Twilight.
Truth be told, this movie had many Twilight elements. Kristen jumps off a cliff, she has two love interests, and a few drops of her blood fall in slow motion, which is important. Kristen broke her thumb and sustained a foot injury during shooting, just like clumsy Bella, which temporarily shut down production. She even makes some of the exact faces from Twilight especially when she eats the poison apple. The scene where she writhes around in bed for months being sad and having nightmares is directly from New Moon. She is also saved by countless men in both movies.
Lucky for us, Kristen spends most of this movie making faces and running with the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), surrounded by eye candy, special effects, and camera work. The most she talks is a three-minute rousing speech to her troops. It was about iron and I was confused by her delivery. Does iron melt Kristen? Does it not? Stop acting like you’re still yelling at Edward Cullen, Kristen! This girl on Youtube pretends to be Kristen Stewart and she is spot-on. This is called acting:
Now that I’m finished ranting. I’ll get on to the movie. Snow White and the Huntsman is a new retelling of Snow White. After Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is born, her mother dies and the king is tricked into marrying the evil witch, Ravenna (Charlize Theron). The witch kills the king and locks Snow White in a tower. Now queen, she talks to her magic mirror and doesn’t have a meltdown as long as the mirror says that she is the fairest of them all. The mirror is a great imagining. I also enjoyed that they made it a figment of her imagination. The queen must suck the life out of girls to stay young. Thus, the whole kingdom is in ruin and decay under her rule. When Snow White turns of age, the mirror tells the queen that Snow White is now the fairest and she tries to eat her heart. Snow White escapes with the help of her woodland friends. The desperate queen hires the Huntsman to find her, in exchange for bringing his wife back from the dead. Of course she’s lying, and the Huntsman helps Snow White reach safety. This is no new territory for Chris, either. He’s just Thor with an ax, but he’s still fun to watch (I guess I’m biased).
So why go see the movie? The special effects in the movie are worth seeing alone. The English major in me enjoyed all the symbolic elements. The glass soldiers, the golden liquid mirror man, the milk baths, the crows, and her costumes are all effects to enhance the queen’s obsession with beauty and death. The brief glimpses of Ravenna’s childhood make her a well-rounded character. The white elk, the fairies, the snow, even the colored birds all enhance the purity and innocence of Snow White (although her outfit staying clean while she was schlepping around the woods and running from the queen’s men was a bit too much). The dark forest and the Sanctuary provide great juxtaposition to what it would be like under Queen’s rule vs Snow White’s. It’s also the small touches; the foreshadowing of the bitten apple when Snow White was a child or that the scars of the village women are like tear lines.
But where are the seven dwarfs? They were pillaging ex-gold miners who almost kill Snow White and the Huntsman on their journey. Just being around Snow White changes them. I was excited to see Bob Hoskins as Muir, one of the dwarves (EDDIE VALIANT! Where have you been?) But that begs the question, why didn’t they use real “little people” for this movie? (I just googled what is the pc term for midget for this review; it was the first answer in Google’s auto complete). Where was my beloved Peter Dinklage?
Just when I think they can’t possibly retell a fairy tale again, I am pleasantly surprised. Rupert Sanders’ directorial debut should not be shunned by his choice in Kristen Stewart. It was a dark retelling worth adding to the film school canon.