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Snow White And The Huntsman

A 2012 film directed by Rupert Sanders starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron

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Too Light to be A Dark Fantasy Epic and Too Dark to be A Fairy Tale

  • Jun 2, 2012
The original tale of “Snow White” was written in Germany back in 1812. Since then, the story has been re-interpreted and variations of its premise had been presented. The most famous version of them may be the one written by the Grimm brothers and this is where “Snow White and the Huntsman” had been loosely based. Directed by Rupert Sanders, this 2012 movie features the same devices that we have become fond of in Disney’s creation (I.e. poisoned apple, magical mirror, seven dwarves) and introduces a far more grittier mood and tempo that resembled a more rousing dark fantasy epic than what we define as a fairy tale.

                          Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna in ``Snow White and the Huntsman.''

We are all familiar with the story of “Snow White”, and this movie introduces some changes to the plot. After her father (Noah Huntley) is murdered by a witch called Ravenna (Charlize Theron), Snow White as a child has been imprisoned at a tower in the castle keep while the witch ascends the throne. But when the young princess grows up to a beautiful young woman (now played by Kristen Stewart), Ravenna becomes obsessed with the princess since she has been declared to be the ‘fairest of them all’. It is all deeper than what one may think, but suffice it to say, Snow White can lead to Ravenna’s ruin. When the young princess was able to escape into the dark forest, the queen enlists the aid of a Huntsman called Eric (Chris Hemsworth, Thor) to track her down and to be brought to her. But Snow White seemed to be destined to greater things, as she soon realizes who she is meant to be with the help of the seven dwarves (Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Johnny Harris, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost and Brian Gleeson) and now must rise to oppose the queen with the huntsman and her childhood friend, William (Sam Claflin) at her side…

                     Kristen Stewart as Snow White in ``Snow White & the Huntsman.''

                    A scene from ``Snow White and the Huntsman.''

Let me just say that “Snow White and the Huntsman” is a handsome film. Those who enjoy special visual effects would be able to appreciate the film’s look and the rendition of its atmosphere. There are some creative touches in the film; I thought the glass, ebony soldiers were a nice touch and the way the Dark forest was imagined as well as the Faerie land was creative as they represented both sides of dark and the light. I also liked the mirror thingie here, as it abandoned what we have grown accustomed to. I am not saying that “Snow White and the Huntsman” is a terrific film but I can see people appreciating it. The costumes, creature and set designs are gorgeous and it even has some good action and battle scenes. There is some bloodshed, but the action had been toned down a bit to cater to all viewers which renders the film’s intended driving force to be a little lighter than I hoped for.

“Snow White and the Huntsman” is your standard tale of good and evil, of heroism and villainy, and of hope and redemption. The screenplay by Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock and Hossein Amini does add a refreshing feminist twist around the film’s premise. I mean, I was pleased to see a stronger, more single-minded heroic Snow White than what we have been accustomed to. However, at its core, the film has all the trappings of fantasy tales. An evil rises, imprisons the hero (in this case heroine), hero escapes and meets obstacle after obstacle and overcomes them. Once the hero reaches the destination, the people rally behind her, and the evil is vanquished. It even has its uniformed battle scene at the end, it is all set to be a formula film.

                        Kristen Stewart as Snow White in ``Snow White & the Huntsman.''

                        Kristen Stewart as Snow White in ``Snow White and the Huntsman.''

                        Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna in ``Snow White and the Huntsman.''

I do not mind formula films as long as the screenplay presented some depths and dimensions to the characters. Yes, in some ways the film does, but the problems begin when the title characters (namely Snow White and Eric) are overshadowed by the depths and development of the evil queen and the land that the story is set in. This is common issue with movies such as this at times, the villain often prove to be more compelling than the lead. It wouldn’t be a problem if Stewart could command the screen with her presence, but the young actress just could not deliver the lines that can match the raw power Theron presented with her character. Sure, Theron may feel a little overwrought in some scenes, but it was more fault on the dialogue itself than Theron’s performance and screen presence. She was scary, beautiful and mesmerizing. Eric and Snow White just did not appear as interesting as Ravenna and her brother, Finn (Sam Spruell) despite some layers left undeveloped.

                          Kristen Stewart as Snow White in ``Snow White & the Huntsman.''

                         Kristen Stewart as Snow White in ``Snow White & the Huntsman.''

I mean, I know Snow White was the bringer of life if she manages to defeat the queen, but that scene when she was blessed by the god of the faerie forest was just too similar to a sequence of the anime hit  “Princess Mononoke” and that kiss that made the original fairy tale memorable was more of a kiss of a loving farewell. I wouldn’t be bothered at all, since the chemistry between Hemsworth and Stewart was more of a brother-sister kind. Much as I liked the ‘prince charming’ here to be a rougher, more dirtier, edgier version; there were no sparks between them even when Stewart did her ‘stare’ signature that made her the “Twilight” movie star to little avail. There is something in Stewart's eyes that can captivate; here she tries to express her gratitude through stares, but I cannot say for certain if what she feels is more based on adoration than being 'in love'. There is a subtle message as to how a woman can either make or break a man, especially in the scene when Hemsworth was grieving for Snow White. The Queen represented 'fairest' as in physical beauty that may break a man, while Snow White represented the beauty of one's heart which can make a man.

                          Sam Claflin as Prince William in ``Snow White & the Huntsman.''

I guess while “Snow White and the Huntsman” had great production values, and I cannot deny that its handsome special effects can enthrall the right viewer (wow the dwarves looked good). I found the film a little hollow and lacking in heart, it was missing something in its execution. The screenplay and the direction struggled to keep my attention when there was no action. This was mostly because the two leads could not command the screen and with a plot as simple as this, it needed a more powerful presence and timing to counter the tempo set by Theron. Be that as it may, it isn’t a terrible movie, it is watchable and worth a look for those who are looking for what the film had to offer. It proved to be a little too dark for a fairy tale and a little too light for a fantasy epic. It lacked narrative power, and that itself may be the film’s one major flaw.

RENTAL [2 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

Poster art for "Snow White and the Huntsman." Poster art for "Snow White and the Huntsman."

Too Light to be Dark Fantasy Epic and Too Dark to be a Light Fairy Tale Too Light to be Dark Fantasy Epic and Too Dark to be a Light Fairy Tale

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June 08, 2012
Not really a fan of Stewart so I am not sure about this one, I guess I will wait for a rental or something. Plus I always thought White was supposed to be hotter than the witch hence the Witches hate for her. That seems not to be the case here, I would take the witch any day. Any way great review man, your title says it all.
June 10, 2012
here it is a different take. There is a sublte allegory how the queen can ruin men by her looks while Snow White can make a man because of her heart. Stewart is pretty to look at, but she does not have the allure that Theron had. I like witches lOL
June 08, 2012
Great review!
June 10, 2012
thank you for the read!
June 04, 2012
Excellent review! I had m doubts about this one, but at the same time I also had my hopes that it would be better than my gut had let me believe. At least it might be better than "Mirror, Mirror"; that's at least what I've heard.
June 05, 2012
well, I am betting that this was better than "Mirror Mirror", I have no intention of seeing that one. This is a gorgeous movie, but sometimes, effects and set designs can only carry a movie so far. As an artist, I liked it, as a movie-cinema fan, I was not impressed at all. Thanks for the read, my friend.
June 04, 2012
It doesn't surprise me a bit that Kristen Stewart can not command the screen - she's too damn boring and I was devastated to see she was playing in the same movie as Charlize Theron, who I just love. I'd like to see it for the beautiful effects if anything, and I'd like to see the "mirror thingie" ...LOL!! Nice review Will---to the point and interesting!!
June 04, 2012
it goes like "mirror mirror on the wall, who is the awesomeness of them all?" whoops....I got confused. LOL! Stewart appeared a litttle out of her element. Theron was good, even when the dialogue got to be a little too perfunctory, she adjusted well. Thanks for the read.
June 05, 2012
Well I only wanted to see it for the wicked stepmother part anyway -- even as a child the fairy tales only interested me when there was an evil character in it -- doe this mean I'm warped? LOL! And Stewart is out of her element no matter what she's in....
June 03, 2012
Thanks for the review. I've been on the fence on this one, but as your title implies, it's too light for a dark fantasy and too dark for a fairytale, so I'll be skipping.
June 03, 2012
Yes, this had little to offer in terms of plotting, but there is something to be said for its terrific production values. It is a gorgeous film, but it lacks in areas that when there is no action or effects, it is a little dull.
More Snow White and the Huntsman reviews
review by . June 08, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Overall, Snow White is an entertaining two hours, but I can't oooh and ahhh without some ughs. This flick boasts some sweet and creepy special effects like mysterious black shards that obey an evil queen and a magnificent black cloak. I jumped with surprise more than once and shuddered a bit, too, as the effects often came out of nowhere. The overall feel of the film is dark. The story is well told with some fascinating additions to/and twists on the classic tale. Plenty of battle scenes (fast, …
review by . June 02, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Snow White and the Huntsman has been released on the heels of Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror, the light-hearted, family-friendly, comedic take on the Snow White legend as told by the Brothers Grimm. Although they draw inspiration from the same source, you would be doing both films a disservice by trying to compare them. Let them stand on their own, and you may find that both have something to offer. Having said that, my reaction to this new …
review by . May 31, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Surface beauty
SNOW WHITE & THE HUNSTMAN Written by Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock and Hossein Amini Directed by Rupert Sanders Starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron   Ravenna: I feel that you and I are bound.   The Grimm fairy tale best known as “Snow White” dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. It is a cautionary tale of sorts to young women everywhere that beauty is only skin deep and that true beauty, the kind that either commands respect …
review by . May 31, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
'Snow White And The Huntsman' Won't Leave You Happily Ever After (Video)
       By Joan Alperin Schwartz    Okay folks, 'Snow White' is back and this time, she's mad as hell and ready to kick some butt.      First off, I must ask...Did we really need two films this year about Miss White? Personally, I think one was too many.      In any case, 'Snow White And The Huntsman' directed by Rupert Sanders, stars Kristen Stewart as Snow, Charlize Theron, as the super …
review by . May 31, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
This will be the second of the Snow White movies to come out this year.  While Mirror Mirror was considerably more campy and fun Snow White and the Huntsman takes a considerably darker tone to the story.  With that in mind this will not be a movie for young children to go see, but may be a nice lesson in female empowerment for the young ladies in the audience.  While it takes a while to get there and takes a long look around at all the visuals that surround …
Quick Tip by . September 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Raw and dark, for a fairy tale, that is. Nonetheless, it's entertaining, possibly because one just wonders how it'll turn out. No surprises here though...
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William ()
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About this movie


In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman (Hemsworth) ordered to take Snow White (Stewart) into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen (Theron).
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Director: Rupert Sanders
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: June 1, 2012
Studio: Universal Studios
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"Surface beauty"
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