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Snow White and the Huntsman

by

Jeff Nelson

Snow White and the Huntsman isn't all that I was hoping for it to be.

Snow White and the Huntsman
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Dating all the way back to the original stories, the classic fables have always been very popular. This especially is true after Disney decided to make cartoons about them, but make them family films. Not everybody fully realizes just how dark and graphic the original stories are. It's disappointing to see that the original, dark stories haven't made it to the big screen. As soon as I heard about the approach to Snow White and the Huntsman, I became excited to see a film actually do the stories justice by displaying the actual material. With horrid adaptations such as Mirror Mirror, I was hoping that Universal's retelling of the story would satisfy my hunger for the original story. I highly enjoyed reading the original tales as a kid, but would love to see it on the big screen. While Snow White and the Huntsman delivers with a few elements, it disappoints in quite a few others.

The fair-skinned maiden, Snow White, battles the Evil Queen with skills learned from the huntsman sent to kill her. Meanwhile, the love-struck prince bides his time from afar. The first thing to note is that, as far as the actual story itself goes, this is probably the most accurate telling of the original tale. However, it still is trying to appeal to young tweens, so the majority of the graphic material has been taken out. For example, instead of the Evil Queen ripping out people's hearts to maintain her power, she simply pushes her fingertips up against his or her chest as the victim dies. It certainly takes a lot of the effect away. Putting that aside, I thought that we're supposed to be rooting for Snow White to prevail and defeat the Evil Queen. I found myself wanting the Queen to win since I found the actual character of Snow White here to be very dull. Her scenes are drawn out to the point where they become boring. While the forest scenes are entertaining, due to the evil lurking behind every tree, when she arrives at the forest of the fairies, the pacing slows down a lot. My mind wandered quite a bit at this part of the movie since it drags its feet for a while. There are multiple major plot tweaks that simply don't make sense. There are even times where the story transforms into being on the border of being similar to the dreadful Twilight Saga. I would go into that in more detail, although I don't want to spoil them for those that are going to be seeing this. To put it simply, all of the scenes with the Evil Queen are exciting and fun to watch. Whenever it's only Snow White and the Huntsman on screen, it's no longer captivating. This screenplay has its ups and down, one of the major ups being the well-written dialogue for the Evil Queen, although there are more cons than there are pros.

The three main characters in Snow White and the Huntsman are big actors in Hollywood. However, one of the primary reasons why I was excited to see the film is for who plays Ravenna, the Evil Queen. Kristen Stewart is Snow White, which I found to be an awkward casting choice to begin with. Whenever she needs to appear valiant and brave, she appears to be the most frightened looking one on screen. She clearly wasn't comfortable during the action sequences of this motion picture. Stewart is unconvincing in the role, which is unfortunate. Perhaps Snow White could have been a little bit more of an interesting character if she was to be cast with a more capable actress. Chris Hemsworth is the Huntsman. He's already proven to audiences that he's a good actor in multiple features, although he also doesn't appear to fit in this role very well. One of the biggest reasons why I was so excited to see this adaptation is due to the fact that Charlize Theron is performing as Ravenna. She has been one of my favorite actresses of modern times for quite some time. However, she absolutely dominated this role. She brought the character of the Evil Queen to life. Whenever she was on screen, I was utterly captivated in the events unfolding in the story. Theron is such a marvelous villain here to the point where whenever she wasn't on the screen, I was wondering when she would be back. I believe that Theron is one of the only smart casting choices made here.

Without a doubt, the presence of the inspiration from films such as Alice in Wonderland is present. This is especially seen towards the final battle of the movie. The Evil Queen's army of darkness most certainly takes on this appearance. The CG work is excellent from start to finish. Everything from the costumes to the cinematography are fantastic. Whether or not you enjoy the film itself, I don't believe that any audiences will be complaining about the visuals. There are some truly beautiful shots captured throughout. While I do believe that this tone to the tale worked, I would still like to see Snow White and the Huntsman with a more dark atmosphere.

Unfortunately, the major problems here root from the screenplay. It infects the rest of the movie like a virus and sucks out a lot of what could have been an incredibly well-told retelling of a fantastic story. I highly enjoyed every scene featuring Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen, but the rest of the casting isn't quite as great. In fact, Theron's performance is one of the best things about this motion picture. Chris Hemsworth is alright and Kristen Stewart is miscast. The visuals are beautiful, as all audiences will enjoy them. I genuinely hope that there will be a dark and graphic adaptation of the original stories, as they were originally written. Snow White and the Huntsman isn't all that I was hoping for it to be. However, if you're itching to see Charlize Theron's captivating performance and the outstanding visuals, then this is worth seeing on the big screen. Otherwise, wait for it to be available as a rental.

My Rating = Two Stars

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