After seeing the first trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman my interest was piqued. It was dark, and visually compelling, complete with an evil-eyed Charlize Theron as the Queen. Rounding out the cast was Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor) and Kristen Stewart – most notoriously known for her role as angst riddled Bella Swan in the Twilight film series. I’m a huge fan of Theron and Hemwsorth – not so much of Stewart but I decided to take my chances.
Last night I had the good fortune to attend an early screening of the film, and the trailers were true to the film’s character. Very dark, at times even somewhat grotesque (when Theron crawls from the black ooze was particularly stomach turning), the Queen’s costumes, her castle, her magic – all very well done. Visually this movie stuns and accurately creates a world for this good versus evil battle to take place. They give Stewart very few lines in the first hour of the film, which actually kind of worked for me and Chris Hemsworth was endearing, even comical at times as the drunken Huntsman sent into the words after Snow White.
Of course, after finding Snow White successfully the Huntsman discovers via the Queen’s super creepy brother Finn, (Sam Spruell, who I thought at first was Paul Bettany) that in fact the Queen lied to him and wouldn’t give him what he asked for. Why didn’t Finn wait until after the Huntsman had handed over Snow White to tell him that? Good question.
After shaking off the Queen’s men, the Huntsman agrees help get Snow White to the last of her belated father’s army. The Huntsman and Snow White flee the forest and start towards their destination. This is where the movie started to wane for me. First, when the Huntsman started getting smacked around by a troll and Snow White is able to calm it down with a scream and a dreamy look – give me a break! This, I assume is attributed to her ‘power’ as the embodiment of all things ‘good,’ a fact that was belaboured a little too hard for me.
I really liked when they went to the village that was full of scarred women and children and the reason why, and meeting up with the dwarves was a cute and interesting encounter – particularly when one dwarf was Bob Hoskins and another, Nick Frost (aka Ed, from Shaun of the Dead) – but the journey seemed long and some points unnecessary. When Snow White wakes up and follows the weird CGI baby creature things (I don’t even know what to call them, they creeped me right out) to this CGI big antlered animal, it was drawn out and pointless especially given what transpires next. It just seemed like they had to keep telling us over and over how Snow White was good, how she was going to heal the kingdom because her character wasn’t given enough to do to prove it or enough dialogue to truly prove it – which wasn’t even Stewart’s fault.
I liked the addition of William working his way back to his childhood friend and possible love and how that all unfolded. But it was confusing as to who Snow White is supposed to be in love with: William or the Huntsman. She kisses William (or so she thinks) at one point, but the Huntsman’s tear-filled speech and the subsequent result, made me wonder who heart really belonged to – which is a resolution we don’t get and I wish we had.
Snow White’s speech to unite the people and bring them to battle against the queen didn’t hold much weight; it wasn’t impressive and didn’t feel as emotional as Stewart was trying to make it be. It didn’t move me the way Hemsworth’s earlier speech did.
But never the less, the battle was interesting and full of action, but the final draw between the Queen and Show White wasn’t as exciting or even as fun to watch as I hoped it would be. I also didn’t really understand the back story of the blood spells binding the two women and being able to undo it, it just seemed kind of glossed over without much detail.
The end also lacked luster, Stewart is crowned the Queen while William and the Huntsman (in the background) look on, what does it mean, now that both men seem to be in love with her? We never find out, she also looks a bit unsure under that crown, which didn’t seem to inspire much confidence. As they slowly (painfully slowly) panned out and faded to black for the end of the film, I honestly kept expecting something more to happen. It just didn’t seem like a proper finish, I wanted more resolution.