Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

Having seen (and highly anticipated) Snow White and the Huntsman I'm pleased to say it has not dispointed. The film was an excellent dark spin on the classic tale of Snow White with many original and very interesting twists on the typical fairy tale setting. Certainly it is darker than most and has a very gritty and bleak feel to the world it portrays. Though I like many others had some reservations about the casting choices and the way it was being presented it did live up to, and in some cases exceed, expectations.

So now my readers, we shall without adeau continue on with the magnificent tale of Snow White and the Huntsman.

I aim to be only slighlty spoilery with the review (because really how many variations can you do on Snow White?) but will leave the most interesting twists out. The story of course begins with a queen who sees blood on snow and decides she wants a daughter like that, and behold she is born! Then we see the queen get sick and the kingdom is usurped by the kings new Queen, an evil sorceress who locks Snow White in a tower and proceeds to rule poorly while trying to maintain the illusion of eternal beauty. From there we continue to the film as of course the Huntsman is produced to do the dirty deed the Queen needs.

The Good:

The film is not overly long and has decent pacing, I appreciated the time it took to properly introduce the story and give us a feel for the characters. Seeing a slight evolution of Snow from child to young prisoner was very interesting and allowed an excellent contrast between the different times in the film.

The dialogue was also well done and each character had a distinct way of speaking and in fact kept their personalities afloat well through dialogue and we got a good feel for what they were like. A number of personal stories and flashbacks establish the history and events in the past and even give the villain of the film some major depth and made her almost sympathetic!

I loved the story as it was basic enough but with a good number of twists to keep it interesting. There was also one scene which if it wasn't a homage to Princess Moninoke I'll eat my hat! The setting was fabulous and the visual details were spectacular, whether they were doing a close up of a very fetching Kristen Stewart in mail, or the terrifyingly trippy Dark Forest the scenes were beautifully filmed and the CGI amazingly rendered. Some effects were simply breath taking and totally immersed you in the world you were seeing.

I found the acting to be anything but wanting. Kristen Stewart surprised me with her ability and everytime she smiled or even grinned on screen it seemed to light up. The titular Huntsman with his gruff neo-Scottish accent was downright awesome with his dark and broody mood swings and violent outbursts. They made him an excellent contrast to Snow's fearful mood or even in her smiley moods.

Charlize Theron plays the evil sorceress Ravenna and does a stellar job as the main villain. She seems crazy with age and is excessively brutal in her quest for eternal beauty. To me she seems like a childless evil Cersei Lannister not just in looks but in her actions and her belief in her 'right' to rule and control. She was a wonderful villain and has certainly proved herself to be a wonderful actress once again.

And of course the battlescenes were fantastic! I won't spoil anything on that just so my readers can appreciate the full effect of them ;)

The Bad:

On one hand readers this is something I doubted I would ever say. Since Twighlight all I hoped for Kristen Stewart would shut up. In this movie I didn't think she talked enough! Her character was fabulous, she had some good pieces of dialogue (much of which could have easily been expanded) and was an interesting and well rounded character. I think her role was downplayed too much in favor of parading Chris Hemsworth around in front of the camera. She also seemed upstage by Theron as she was recieving about as much screen time as Stewart!

That said I think the film really needed to decide whose story it was. The Dwarves were obviously supporting characters, but the Huntsman was played up, then played down or took away from time we might have had to better develop Stewarts character! By contrasting the personalities of Ravenna and Snow White I think we could have had a much more stable plot and a fabulous dynamic between villain and hero.

Some of the dialogue does fall sadly flat which irked me. The writing which was fairly excellent fell flat at a few inopportune moments.


Other than a few minor hang-ups the movie is top notch and worth seeing. 7.5 out of 10 stars!

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