By: Gabrielle Bondi & Melissa Berne
Since this movie is highly anticipated and popular among the TYF staff, you’re about to be treated to a double review of Snow White and the Huntsman! Both Melissa and I (Gaby) have attending advance screenings of the film and have a lot to share about it! Enjoy!
Universal has made it point, since it was practically green-lit, to market Snow White and the Huntsman heavily. I’ve pretty much spent the last year being almost constantly bombarded with information, pictures, sneak peeks, interviews, trailers, etc. for this movie. Obviously, Universal has a lot confidence in this film (unlike Battleship, apparently) and wanted to make sure that practically every person alive was aware of its existence. Yesterday, an hour before seeing Snow White and the Huntsman, I found myself to be tired. I’m not the type that likes to be bombarded, especially with marketing. At that point, I just wanted to see the damn movie, write a review and move on.
From all the marketing, I knew what kind of movie to expect. Plus, it was the story of Snow White! Everyone knows that story. I wasn’t expecting to be impressed, but I was. And all the credit goes to Rupert Sanders. His vision and style of this new take on Snow White is gorgeous, dark and lush. We all thought that Charlize Theron was going to be the scene-stealer. Nonetheless, she’s definitely second to Sanders’ great direction in Snow White and the Huntsman.
Clearly, the visuals were the most entertaining aspect of the film for me. It really brought life into the story. It could’ve easily been a dull movie, and Sanders made it stand out. But a couple performances are noteworthy as well. Charlize Theron as the evil Queen Ravena was a great casting choice. She completely embodied her character. Her onscreen presence mixed with Sanders’ direction was captivating. Chris Hemsworth, who plays the Huntsman, was a surprise for me. There’s one particular scene in the film where he’s just incredible. At first, it didn’t seem like he was the right choice, but after seeing him in action as the Huntsman, I can say he was a good choice. I just wish that his accent was a little more consistent.
The dwarves added some humor to this dark tale, but not enough. To be honest, I really couldn’t understand what most of them were saying. As for Kristen Stewart, Snow White seemed like a tailor-made role for her. She fit into it well, since it was more of a physical role rather than spoken. I must admit that I always had a problem with Kristen’s acting. Even outside of Twilight, I couldn’t get passed some of her ticks or inability to deliver a line well. But it looks like she starting to let go of some of those ticks, and while they aren’t completely gone or unnoticeable, at least its an improvement. (Although, I still am perplexed how she’s the only actress in Hollywood that can get away with this. The power of Twilight, I guess?)
The screenwriters definitely gave the Snow White story a decent facelift. While you know how it usually goes, there were quite a few intriguing twists. Those twists made this story feel somewhat new. And they also added an emotional element to it that I wasn’t exactly expecting. And it all leads up to an end that only has a touch of finality. The end was a bit of letdown; it felt like an awkward way to end, and Kristen’s sort of vacant expression didn’t help. It could be a standalone movie. Or as Universal predicts and this does become a major success at the box office, there will be a sequel and/or possibly a trilogy of Snow White films. And because I enjoyed this movie so much, I’ll welcome them. But not anytime soon. I’d really like to see Rupert Sanders grow and work on other projects, and not be tied down to hashing out Snow White sequels. Sanders is, in my opinion, the real star of this movie, and I’m here to get the conversation flowing about him.
Melissa’s (spoiler) thoughts:
I really enjoyed Snow White And The Huntsman. It was a refreshing take on an iconic tale. Director Rupert Sanders helmed this movie making it “Lord of the Rings” meets “Snow White.” What makes this not a typical fairytale is that ”true love” is not central to the story. It’s about Good vs. Evil and boy is the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron) bad to the bone. Theron plays it to a T from tricking the king into a marriage then murdering him on their wedding night which ignites doom and gloom around the land. And that’s just for starters. Ravenna, the Evil Queen, is selfish, vain, and a psycho. She is stunning yet scary with her menacing stare. Sartorially speaking, her costumes were on point. She was evil, but I kept thinking “Damn I love her clothes!”
Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is the force of good that is destined to end the darkness with the help of an army that includes: dwarfs, a huntsman, the duke’s men and son (the “Prince Charming”). Stewart looked beautiful, fitting the “lips red as blood, and hair black as a raven’s wing,” criteria. Her depiction of Snow White is a girl with a good heart but a defiant spirit. She is incredibly sweet with her loved ones as she dances with a red-headed flirty dwarf, and feisty when she takes initiative to go kick some Evil Queen ass. Stewart’s acting was good, she pulled off the accent and had me rooting for her when she had on her chainmaile and was riding off into battle.
Every scene the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) had girls in the audience swoon. Who am I kidding? I swooned too. HE IS SO FUCKIN’ SEXY. Besides the Adonis looks, Hemsworth’s acting was good. He played a good balance of a beefcake and a man full of sorrow. His banter and on screen relationship with Stewart is fun to watch, and you’ll be wanting more when the movie is over.
Overall the movie was visually stunning. I loved the juxtaposition of the darkness and the fairytale land. The Dark Forest was literally like going through a nightmare. Between the bugs, snakes and the creepy shadow creatures, you could easily feel Snow White’s fear. And the place where the fairies live, beyond the Dark Forest, is like the opposite with lively, beautiful plants and animals. The CGI in this film is stellar. I also enjoyed the personification of life and death through Ravenna and Snow White. Whatever comes in Ravenna’s path quickly parishes while Snow White is the force that brings things back to the light including a huntsman who feels dead inside.
If you’re in the mood for a darker depiction of a fairytale that actually isn’t a cliche, go watch Snow White And The Huntsman.
Snow White and the Huntsman is now playing in theaters. Review courtesy of TheYoungFolks.com