11 Jun 2012

Snow White and The Huntsman - a far cry from fairytale

This is a test. If I say Snow White, which image springs to mind? Let me guess... a young lady with black hair, a yellow, blue and red dress, large eyes, surrounded by squirrels and a birds and all kinds of cute animals. It is the Disney Snow White I am referring to... I have a feeling that for many of us, she is who springs to mind when we hear the words Snow White. 
The original Snow White, however, was the main character of a German fairy tale and as with most fairy tales, there are several versions but the most famous one is probably the one told by the Brothers Grimm in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. Though the queen in the Disney version is quite grim, she is nowhere near as scary as the original queen in the Grimm version who, upon finding out that Snow White (at the tender age of seven) has grown more beautiful than herself, commands a huntsman to take Snow White into the forrest, kill her and bring back her organs... oh yes, pretty nasty stuff. 
Snow White is getting the big overhaul this year with Hollywood bringing out not just one but two versions of the fairy tale. "Mirror, Mirror" looks quite cute and pretty-ish whereas "Snow White and the Huntsman" is going for a darker version of the story. 
My boyfriend and I went to see "Snow White and the Huntsman" at a late screening recently. There was only seven people in the cinema and we settled in to enjoy what we expected to be an action-packed adventure but unfortunately left with a bit of a meh feeling. 

The good parts were: 
  • Kristen Steward who adds character and steely courage to Snow White. She is pretty but she is also a really tough girl who takes on the queen and her beauty is more about what is on the inside than what is on the outside. 
  • Charlize Theron as the evil queen. Magnificent. 
  • The dwarfs are cool! They are not cute and they are not funny like the Disney versions, they are hardcore warriors fighting to survive.
  • The costumes, especially the queens dresses, are spectacular and the scenery in the dark forrest is really well-made with a spooky atmosphere. 
The not so good parts: 
  • The huntsman doesn't do it for me - it might be prosaic but I kept thinking that he could do with a shower and a shave... He just was a bit too much of a pretty boy made rough only by grime and beard, they should have gone for someone a bit more rugged. 
  • The enchanted forrest. Dear me... they could have gone a bit lighter on the fairies, not to mention the deer. It was too much, next time stick closer to real nature which is amazing enough without the added sparkly and glitter. Did Twilight and sparkly vampires teach you nothing people? 
  • The ending. Too fast and too little time and energy spent on tying up the lose ends. 
Watch it if: You have a thing for fairytales and loved Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. You want to see Kristen Steward in a role that is a bit more Joan of Arc and a bit less damsel in distress. 


  1. I saw it last night and mostly agree with your review. It was an okay film, but I just felt kind of empty when it ended (and that ending is just too rushed entirely). I never felt the plot thickened properly and I must say, I think Theron seriously overplayed her role. Like, the Queen was way too over the top. Stewart on the other hand did surprisingly well - I was afraid she'd be stuck in her Bella-role forever, but she's showed us here that she can do so much more. The Huntsman... well I'm a big fan of Hemsworth as Thor, so I really just wanted to assist the man in taking a shower and get him out of that muddy film.
    (Also, yes, the enchanted forest was silly)

  2. Really? Kristen Stewart is a good point? Interesting. I hate her acting she's awful in Twilight lol. But I really want to watch it though it won't be in theatres for sure.

  3. THis just sounds like it has all the makings of a camp classic. I may have to check it out.

  4. I hate comparisons but inevitably, they are inevitable. Specially when they're so many versions based, in this case on the same story...
    When we were kids our parents told us all this stories and they were creepy, they had blood, murder attempts, deer hearts in a box, etc. for some reason, we grew up outside the bubble, playing with dirt, falling from trees and getting hurt.
    Each time, the story gets a new interpretation, maybe according to the times and whoever is involved in the project. Disney's version is beautiful, as cute as animation allows but also shows knives and the scene where the hunter fails to kill SW is somewhat disturbing.
    Then we have the turkish version from the 70s, very similar to the story we all know.
    Between MIRROR MIRROR and SWATH, I found the comedy highly amusing. I thought it was because I saw it right after watching HOOK and I think Hook is so bad I ended up pretty disappointed.
    Now after watching SWATH I find it interesting, except a couple things that I didn't like: The enchanted forest and the little creatures that came from inside the birds and some other items there,
    dwarfs too little time on screen, and
    Snow White as a warrior in shiny armor...
    Everything else I can deal with, but those things went a little over the top spoiling the rest of the movie.
    If I keep seeing more versions, I am afraid MIRROR MIRROR would end up being a masterpiece...