Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Film Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

     At some point in the movie “Snow White and the Huntsman”, they refer to Snow White as “The One”. It made perfect sense to me. In The Matrix, Keanu Reeves is The One, and he mainly tries very hard to show emotion on occasion. I’m not sure Kristen Stewart is even trying to show emotion, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s clear this movie also takes place within the Matrix, and Snow White is merely another incarnation of The One.
     Joking aside, this movie wasn’t as bad as some people claim, but it could have been better.
     The movie starts out with Snow White’s birth and parts of her childhood-her friendship with the son of the duke, her attachment to her mother, and her mother’s insistence that her greatest beauty is within her heart (as she tries to nurse a bird back to health-go figure). Then her mother dies and her father’s kingdom is attacked by strange glass knights. In the wagon overturned during the battle, they find a beautiful woman, who the king decides to marry right away-and who promptly murders him and locks Snow White up in a tower, because she’s a Special Snowflake. (Actually, they have a decent plot reason for this, surprisingly enough.) Fast forward many years later, and the Evil Queen discovers Snow White is now the fairest of them all, in all sense of that word. No wonder-you left her in the dark. She probably would have gotten fairly tan otherwise. Nice Job Fixing It Villain. Either way, the Queen decides she will gain eternal youth and beauty by eating Snow White’s heart. Unfortunately her Idiot Brother with whom she has some decidedly Odd Subtext manages to be outwitted by a girl who has been locked in a tower for some ten years. Snow White promptly escapes into the woods, and the Queen demands the Drunken Woodsman go after her. Instead, they and their belligerent sexual tension team up with some equally drunken dwarves to make it to the duke’s castle and gather an army to defeat the Evil Queen.
     This movie is simultaneously good and bad. On the good side, we have a rather dark fairy tale, with the Queen being extremely creepy and evil and I-don’t-even-want-to-know-what’s-going-on-with-her-and-her-brother, not to mention a back story for why the Queen is the way she is. (Magic. It’s always a good explanation.) We have an excellent good vs. evil storyline with the destructiveness of evil opposed to the life-giving force of good. I’m even okay with Snow White being a Chosen One who literally restores life to the kingdom. The downside is that you have Kristen Stewart whose expressions can be summed up as “dull surprise”. The girl who plays the younger Snow White actually emotes better than she does. Some people tell me I’m too critical and that it’s clearly meant to be a stoical look, which I would believe if it wasn’t for the fact that she looks like that in all her pictures. Unfortunately the movie sinks a lot when the main character isn’t acted that well; otherwise this would have been an excellent and entertaining film.


  1. I agree totally. I thought this was about a 3.5/5 star movie. I thought the ending was a bit ambiguous and several parts of the whole thing were silly, but it was a good concept and I liked the dwarves and the scenes in fairy land.

    I don't know if you saw Mirror Mirror, but it was about on the same level. The visuals were beautiful (it was much less dark than SWATH), but somehow it just never came together. Partly, Julia Roberts is just too lovable to be the wicked queen. I was liking her in spite of her badness. It's much easier to hate Charlize Theron.

    1. I haven't seen Mirror Mirror yet, but I've heard it's more funny than anything.