There’s been lots of dark twisted fairytale movies lately and upon hearing that a Snow White movie is going to make a grand entrance to the big screen this year, I readied myself to be taken back to the times where my grandmother told me scary bed time stories. Unlike most kids who loved Snow White because of her true love’s kiss and all that happily-ever-after-shit, I fell in love with Snow White for its grim and darkness.
I indulged in listening to my Grandmother’s terrifying stories and when somebody mentions Snow White (although I’ve seen Disney’s lame technicolor version) for me, Snow White’s story is nothing but a horror movie. Why not? Imagine you’re the most delicate, the fairest and the most important person in the universe. Of course, it is given that your character should be a soft-spoken, gentle, and based on Disney standards can ridiculously talk to animals. In the story, you’re the only beautiful thing that ever existed notwithstanding the fact that you never really had someone who shaped your well-being (or gave you a bath) because your Dad was killed or something, but it was mostly because you’re trapped inside an old, haunted Castle.
Then your life is at stake because some low self-esteemed Queen-bitch heard of a gossip from her magical mirror that you’ve bloomed into “THE FAIREST OF THEM OOOWWL!”. (Unfortunately this mirror has poor judgement and no respect to its master because most of the time the Queen is prettier than the princess – the princess only gets most of the screen time and that’s why. There it is. The truth. sigh)
Now you’re running for you life inside an old,terrifying, dark forest where grotesque faces appears on every tree hollow. Bats, crows and other winged creatures will fly on top of trees accompanied by strong wind, lightning and thunder. (How dramatic!) Then you’ll lose your consciousness (says so the writer) and when you wake up you’re with old, gritty, dwarfs and HEY! Do you seriously expect me to narrate Snow White’s goddamn story!? The thing is, Snow White has sombre elements which could be effective for the horror genre – or maybe for psychological thriller because Snow White, after all those years spent inside the castle – ALONE, you know, she may have gone crazy or something.
So last night I watched Snow White and the Huntsman and was pleasantly surprised by it. The technical aspects of the film are superb. From the CGI, to the Oscar-worthy set and costume designs, the interesting camera angles, operatic musical score, all of that were masterfully set out on the film. For a first time feature film director, Rupert Sanders is indeed a skillful visualizer. The breathtaking landscapes, enchanting fairytale and grim elements he captured in every frame is a proof that art direction is on top of his priority. But the film lacked some sense of originality on some parts. The ‘Deer’ scene in the Sanctuary felt like a rip off from Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, the battle scenes (costumes included) would remind you of The Lord of the Rings (some say the Game of Thrones) and when Kristen Stewart is around you’ll feel like she’s Bella on some sort of cosplay who got lost in a magical forest looking for Edward!
I’ve heard a lot of gripes about the story though; Despite being a “retelling of a tale as old as time” Sanders’ Snow White did have some plot holes. But actually it wasn’t the plot holes that sucked in the film. Like what I’ve said, we all know the story and for a classic it was a solid one – it’s just that Sanders take was totally different that it shattered the foundation of the fairy-tale (that is romance) into black crystal glasses like Ravena’s black army. For me, it was just alright because Kristen (Snow White) developed no chemistry with both Prince William and Eric, the Huntsman.
What’s shameless was the lack of development to most characters (except for Ravena). When the film was on second half, which is by the way a downhill steep to the awesomeness of the first half, The Huntsman started to become more engaged to Snow White, Prince William was opposite when he was reunited with Snow White there was no spark whatsoever – there was nothing, the dwarves were underused but I must say there presence made the film at least, FUN.
Great casting on the dwarfs. Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, Nick Frost, Bob Hoskins, and Ian McShane as dwarfs gave delightful performances. Even better than Kristen who was only waiting for a fly to enter her mouth with her cutesy and bland performance. Chris Hemsworth also did hell of a job acting as the Huntsman. It was solid until the end when his tough character got overshadowed by Snow White’s mood swings especially in the laughable scene where Kristen was awkwardly screaming to her lungs trying to deliver a heroic speech. However, Charlize Theron’s portrayal of Queen Ravenna was so powerful that you’ll hate her at the same time gain a bit of sympathy of her selfish struggle for beauty and immortality.
All in all, Snow White and the Huntsman is my kind of bedtime story. A story full of grim and adventure that is definitely worth-seeing!