Snow White and the Huntsman: Who’s the Fairest of Them All? (2012)

Posted: June 4, 2012 in Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

After King Magnus lost his love, he falls into a state of depression, with only his daughter Snow White at his side. A dark army takes advantage of his fallen guard, but Magnus leads a charge to defeat the warriors and rescues the trapped beauty. After only one day, Magnus falls in love and marries the mysterious Ravenna. The new queen dispatches the king and takes over the kingdom. Capturing the young Snow White, Ravenna locks her in a tower and tightens her grip on the land. One day when checking with her magic mirror, Ravenna discovers that Snow White has matured into the fairest beauty. After Ravenna’s brother, Finn, fails to present Snow White to his queen, a mark is placed on the escaped princess. The Huntsman is brought in lead a search party into the dark forest and bring her back to the castle. When the Huntsman realizes that not all is as it seems, he and Snow White go on a quest to reunite with Duke Hammond to lead a charge against the queen and her army.

Starring: Kristen Stewart (Snow White), Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman), Charlize Theron (Ravenna), Sam Claflin (William), Sam Spruell (Finn), Ian McShane (Beith), Bob Hoskins (Muir), Ray Winstone (Gort), Nick Frost (Nion), Eddie Marsan (Duir), Toby Jones (Coll), Johnny Harris (Quert), Brian Gleeson (Gus), Noah Huntley (King Magnus), Vincent Regan (Duke Hammond)

While none of these characters are new to fantasy films, the dark twist on this story makes for a tough process for casting. As the fair Snow White, Kristen Stewart is actually quite a good combination of damsel and warrior. She has a number of moments of innocence, but highlights her stronger instincts through moments like her battle speech. Chris Hemsworth may not have a name in this film, but he channels a character very close to his Thor persona with a little less honor but a little more depth. Charlize Theron certainly looks the part of the evil queen and creates a sense of madness in her character’s obsessions with beauty and breaking her curse. Sam Spurell as Finn is a rather intriguing character, in that he maintains all of the hatred of the queen but exhibits a slight apprehension to her obsessions and madness. Sam Claffin serves as William, Snow White’s childhood friend. There is a little bit of character development with him, but he maintains a sense of mystery in how his character plays into Snow White’s future. The dwarfs include a rather recognizable cast of performers, including Bob Hoskins (Muir), Ian McShane (Beith), Johnny Harris (Quert), Toby Jones (Coll), Eddie Marsan (Duir), Ray Winstone (Gort), Nick Frost (Nion) and Brian Gleeson (Gus).

  

In this Rupert Sanders version of the story of Snow White, the tale resembles more of the Grimm’s Fairytales version than any resemblance of Disney. The story actually begins with Snow White as a young child and the king and queen ruling the land at a time of peace. The loss of the queen and the arrival of Ravenna led to a massive reversal of fortune for the land and the belief that princess Snow White had been killed in the fray. Her escape after Finn’s mistake leads to a constant pursuit by Finn’s and Ravenna’s army. For Ravenna, he beauty was constantly fleeting and she steals people’s youth  and life force to maintain her appearance. The only thing that could save her from ever aging again would be Snow White’s still-beating heart. This premise is vastly different than the Disney poison apple-deep sleep perspective. While a poison apple is still used, this queen has a multitude of different magical abilities in her arsenal.

  

This movie may be dark in its mood but the visual presentation is pretty spectacular. Though ruined to some degree by the previews and commercials, the transformations of the queen and the mystical creatures of the sanctuary make the film a truly magical experience. One of the most interesting and remarkable effects was the creation of the dwarfs. Each of the actors were transformed into their smaller stature and appeared quite seamless in their actions and movements. The aging back and forth of the queen also appeared quite seamless, particularly late in the film.

While the acting may not have been perfect and the ending possibly unsatisfying, the visual presentation certainly was particularly engaging. Snow White and the Huntsman is an enjoyable experience and includes all of the action of a Lord of the Rings film.

Dan’s Rating: 3.5/5

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