A new slant on the classic tale of Snow White.
There’s no singing and dancing or “hi-ho”-ing in this film. An altogether more dark and mature version of the fairytale.
You have the titular role played by rock-faced, Golden-Raspberry worst-actress winning Kristen Stewart, a woman with less facial expressions than a dead badger, who lives down to her reputation with ease. I’ve managed to avoid the Twilight Saga films, but I can easily understand why she is almost universally slated.
On the other hand, Charlize Theron is spectacular in both beauty and acting performance as ever playing the Evil Queen Ravenna. I personally would rate her “fairest of them all” well ahead of Ms-Miserable-Vampire any day, but that wouldn’t fit the story very well.
The Huntsman, played by Chris Hemsworth, is an amalgamation of both the Huntsman and the Prince characters of the original Grimm tale. Originally the Huntsman was meant to take Snow White out and kill her, returning with her lungs and liver to prove her death, and the Prince to later restore her from her suspended animation. Here, he is involved in variations of both acts.
Mind you, if we care to compare the story with the original tale, then it is Snow White’s actual mother rather than stepmother who tries to kill her off, something changed at a later date. Plus, until Disney animated the story in 1937, the dwarves were unnamed in the story.
In roles as dwarves you have Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost and in his last role, Bob Hoskins R.I.P., who died today. Apparently there was some controversy because they used “normal” sized actors with their faces transplanted on to smaller bodies. However it was done exceptionally well and looks realistic indeed.
There is also Sam Spruell as “Finn”, Queen Ravenna’s brother, who is a snivelling coward in his sister’s presence, and a tormenting bully when out on his own. His comeuppance is welcome when it happens.
CGI is widespread, but is largely excellent and “natural”, for example the royal castle is all fake, birds, stags, etc etc. In fact the is a heck of a lot of it. The only bad CGI that comes to mind is the troll they encounter whilst trying to escape Finn and his troops. There’s always something.
The opinion of critics appeared to be favourable towards two of the three leads (no prizes for guessing which one wasn’t praised), but that they either weren’t impressed by the script, or the pacing, or the length of the film. I disagree with all of this, apart from wishing that someone else had played Snow White. At two hours the film is certainly not overlong, and runs through at a fairly busy pace, from action scene to another and another. Very little standing still.
Apparently a sequel is in the works, though this may initially have been derailed by the (shock, horror!!) affair between director Rupert Sanders and Kristen Stewart, though I believe it is to proceed with her reprising her role, but with a different director. We’ll see. His then wife (Liberty Ross) is actually in the film as Snow White’s mother, the original queen. Talk about rubbing her nose in it.
7/10. A bit lacking in chemistry between the two “heroes” which is unfortunate. Also someone needs to confiscate Ms Stewart’s Botox. And teach her how to move her face. Otherwise, I enjoyed it.