I have long anticipated the premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman, and so of course I was nearly ecstatic to catch a nice and packed 8:30 p.m. show last night!
Directed by relative newcomer Rupert Sanders, Snow White and the Huntsman stars Charlize Theron as the evil Queen Ravena, Kristen Stewart as Snow White, and Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman. The entire piece is a dark retelling of the treasured fairy tale, and I think it worked out well.
I’ve always enjoyed a nearly gothic twist on fantasy, so for me, the director’s cinematic choices were exquisite. The focus was no longer on the incredibly beautiful Snow White and her silly little love affair with Prince Charming—this was a tale of a tortured Princess whose inner beauty was part of her destiny, and whose strength and conviction overturned the tyranny of an extraordinarily evil Queen. In addition, this take focused on the kinship between Snow White and the Huntsman, thereby removing it from the everlasting “Girl meets boy, girl loses boy, boy finds girl through some trial and tribulations, and girl and boy fall in love and live happily ever after, yay!” tradition of most fairy tales. This version was about honor and loyalty, kinship and companionship, belief in one’s strength, following one’s heart, and rising up against evil and wrongdoing—a real fairy tale for actual grown ups!
Overall, the cinematography was beautiful and lush; Sanders used a wonderful play of light and dark to emphasize the dismal nature of the kingdom as well as the madness of the Queen. Also spectacular was the repeated contrast of blood against snow, which is of course the epitome of what we’ve come to recognize as Snow White’s unique characteristics—dark hair, fair skin, and blood-red lips. Many scenes in the movie were reminiscent of Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Wonderland, and Lord of the Rings, adding it to a long line of visually stunning fantasy work.
The casting was also surprisingly workable—though honestly, Charlize Theron is fairly hard to swallow as an ugly queen (nonetheless, the effects team did a splendid job of aging her to fit the part). Theron played a jealous, obsessed Queen with great skill, and paired with the creepy images of her soldiers, mirror, and magic, her onscreen presence was ferociously chilling. Stewart, with her girl-next-door prettiness, did a good job of playing a Princess coming into her own strength, the emphasis in her part on the beauty she carried within. Finally, the handsome Chris Hemsworth portrayed a believable Huntsman, whose personal torment is made good through his assistance to a would-be queen.
I’d also like to mention the unbelievable costume work of Colleen Atwood—she truly deserves an Oscar for this film. Complete with the decadence of real feathers, skulls, and jewels, some of Ravena’s pieces were remarkably gorgeous!
All in all, I found the movie to be an impressive redux of a classic tale, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Sanders’s work in the future. If you haven’t had a chance to get to the theatre, make sure you check out Snow White and the Huntsman soon.
Happy viewing, everyone!
- New ‘Snow White’ Spellbinding (foxnews.com)
- Learn About Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron’s Snow White and the Huntsman Costumes! (fabsugar.com)
June 2nd, 2012 at 11:10 pm
Glad to see another positive review. I would probably go see this one. Charlize Theron is such a beauty, and I’m impressed that she would take on a role as the “evil” queen. I would so love to see Kristen Steward break out as some other character than she has become known for. I’m not a Twilight fan, so I can only speak to her “look” which kind of annoys me, and not her acting, which I hope is good.
June 3rd, 2012 at 10:55 am
I agree about Charlize Theron’s beauty—she’s astounding, really. I’m not a Twilight fan either, but I’ve seen all of them because I feel like it’s a cult classic I should follow. I think Kristen Stewart has grown as an actress through the movies and in this is much better, however, I do think she is still young and has more room to grow. I know a lot of people are displeased with the movie, and though I wouldn’t say it was truly phenomenal, I did enjoy it very much. 🙂 I’m also a sucker for beautiful cinematography.
June 4th, 2012 at 2:02 pm
Yes, we enjoyed it too. It lacked depth, but I think a lot of backstory ended up on the cutting room floor so the film wouldn’t be too long. However, it was visually stunning, especially the costumes, as you said. It would have been extremely fun to play the Queen!!!
June 4th, 2012 at 8:07 pm
I agree on both counts! It would be hard to add more depth without lengthening it…then again, it had some real Lord of the Rings tones to it, so I suppose it could have been extended to three hours…. 🙂 I read some reviews stating the Queen was too much of a caricature, but I sort of feel like that’s how fairy tale queens tend to be.
June 30th, 2012 at 2:20 pm
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