director Rupert Sanders
As far as the contemporary take of fairy tales goes, Snow White and the Huntsman is better than Red Riding Hood (2011) and possibly Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010) (I know, not essentially a fairy tale film) and reportedly better than Mirror, Mirror (2012), its competing Hollywood re-telling of the Snow White myth. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what is really a trend (i.e., what people really like and want) and what is manufactured by industry. More and more of these fairy tale redux films are due out. It will be interesting to see if any are truly interesting.
I watched the film with Felix, since Clara was having a sleep-over (I had intended on watching it with both of them). He liked it pretty well.
What it has going for it is some nice design work, in costuming, creature design, and general visual aesthetics. The film starts off rather well, re-telling, re-working the story with a more complex and action-packed sets of narratives. This allows for a number of fight and battle sequences that aren’t generally what the tale is known for. And the adventure part of this, the fantasy film fun, at times almost takes off.
But the film kind of bottoms out toward the finale.
It stars Kristen Stewart as “the fairest of them all” and Charlize Theron as the evil queen. Stewart is a pretty girl, whose looks are sort of quirky, not classical. Theron is very pretty, perhaps well suited as the vain queen. Still, it’s odd.
But the issue isn’t which of these ladies my personal mirror would qualify as fairest, but rather that Stewart is oddly miscast. She looks good in the outfits and everything. Even in the armor she dons in the final battle against the evil queen and her minions (very reminiscent of Burton’s Alice in how the beauty also gets to be the knight in shining armor). But the worst part if when Stewart has to give the rousing speech to inspire her followers to lead them into battle. She’s not helped with a script that was possibly pieced together from any broad amount of such speeches through cinema history, but it just comes off weird, odd, and bad.
Still, I liked it more than Alice in Wonderland for whatever reason, though the parallels between the two films seemed obvious (same producers, says so on the poster).