“Sometimes awful things have their own kind of beauty,” spoken by Carlos in Tom Ford’s A Single Man.
Strangely there seems to be a sudden surge of Snow White films on circuit. Snow White and the Huntsman had to hold its ground as it fell prey to a number of setbacks. Firstly it was released shortly after another Snow White film starring Julia Roberts entitled Mirror, Mirror which is a child-like take on the Grimm brother’s fairy tale which arrived first on circuit. Secondly SWATH had to deliver on the promises put forth by hype generated by the media for instance; the grandiose theatrical trailers as well as a Florence and the Machine music video (Breath of life) used as the films official soundtrack and which stirred interest in otherwise untapped consumer segments. SWATH is a prime example of how media hype can have devastating effects on films. However, despite this, SWATH still delivers on a large number of the promised elements and I ended up enjoying the spectacle despite numerous shortcomings.
Snow White and the Huntsman Theatrical Trailer:
The plot of SWATH is a relatively straight forward retelling of the original fairy tale. Newcomer, Rupert Sanders, however broadens the narrative considerably. The evil and power-obsessed Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) is hell-bent on dominating as many kingdoms as she can. However, Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is destined to surpass her beauty (YA SURE) and thus challenge her claim to the throne. Anyway Snowy escapes into the creepy woods, Charlize gets angry and the movie plays out as expected. There are several eye-catching action sequences that ensue which are perfectly complimented by James Newton Howard’s powerful original score. God bless you James. However, other than this, the narrative is very linear and uninteresting. There are some half-hearted references to mystical prophecies, dwarves are thrown in awkwardly, and character motivations seem lacking. Snowy and Thor spend the majority of the movie merely surviving and thus the Queen is the only character with drive and ambition. Additionally Queen Ravenna’s backstory is the single novel contribution to the Snow White mythology.
Overall the film is presented beautifully. The film is eerie and many of the scenes can be awe inspiring, especially the fairy-land scenes which occur halfway through the film. The production design is top notch, and many scenes look like they were dragged directly out of concept illustrations. In general the film is just plain pretty and does well to establish the intended darker tone of the film.
CHARLIZE IS JUST SO HOT RIGHT NOW. The saving grace for SWATH is undoubtedly Charlize’s performance. Her performance is unsettling and wicked and she portrays the evil Queen sensationally. I really dislike Kristin Stewart but with that said she didn’t upset me as much as I thought she would. Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman did a fair job but I still have trouble viewing him without a huge silver hammer so soon after Avengers. However, I must reiterate that Charlize is spectacular and perhaps the sole reason to watch this film. The majority of the film just didn’t seem plausible because there is no way that buck-toothed Bella could surpass Charlize’s beauty. Like what the hell?! I think that there mirror is broken honey…
The trend these days is to merely repackage a familiar story in a darker and more mature way with the intent of causing the masses to flock. However, SWATH does deliver on a number of promises despite the considerable media hype.
Check out Florence and Machine – Breath of Life: