Movie Review: Snow White & the Huntsman |

Movie Review: Snow White & the Huntsman

A grim retelling of a popular fairytale.

Rating 3.5 /5
30th Sep 2012
Movie Review: Snow White & the Huntsman
Visually stunning; Amazing special FX.
Weak storyline; Caricaturized characters.

Snow White & the Huntsman
Director: Rupert Sanders
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron
Genre: Action \ Fantasy
Running Time: 2:07 hours

It's not just Bollywood that's scavenging for remakes; Hollywood too seems to be scouring the same terrain. Case in point: Snow White & the Hunstman. It's the second attempt by Hollywood at retelling the classic Grimm fairytale — the first being Relativity Media's Mirror Mirror. Thankfully, both "remakes" are vastly different. If Mirror Mirror was a rib-tickling comedy with a thoughtful climax, Snow White comes across as an dark adventure with muddy drama.

The Story
Movie Review: Snow White & the Huntsman Snow White starts off on a familiar note. A noble queen, pricked by the thorn of a single blooming rose in her snow-covered castle, sees her blood drip onto the snow and makes a wish: a daughter as white as snow, with blood-red lips and ebony black hair. From here the movies gallops forward as Snow White (Stewart) grows into a beautiful teenager who frolics around the castle with friend and servant William (Sam Claffin), saving birds and eating apples. Thereafter, the queen falls ill and dies. A grieving King Magnus (Noah Huntley), nevertheless marches to war against the forces of darkness, defeats them, chances upon the evil queen Ravenna (Theron) disguised as a prisoner, falls in love, marries her, and is killed on his wedding day. The kingdom is taken over by Ravenna's evil forces, and Snow White is imprisoned. From here the story takes a curious turn, with little resemblance to the fairytale — except for the classic "Mirror, mirror on the wall" line, the poisoned apple trick, and the huntsman who turns protector. Of course, Snow White escapes all dangers except the apple, but triumphs in the end. How she manages that is what comprises the story.

The Highs And The Lows
Movie Review: Snow White & the Huntsman The USP of this film is its stunning visuals. Be it soldiers shattering like glass, the magic mirror liquefying and transforming into the silhouette of a person, or the scene where Ravenna emerges from a cacophony of crows, each scene is a scrumptious FX feast. A personal favourite is the Dark Forest, a decaying place where branches, bugs, and weeds take on scary proportions. The second highlight is the locales: shot in the lower plains of Wales, it captures the mediaeval mood perfectly.

On the flip side, the film's storyline and overall treatment is a big letdown. While the first half grips your attention with some fine acting from Theron, Hemsworth, and even the gang of badass dwarves, the second part simply collapses with the evil queen doing little else other than screaming her lungs out, while Stewart plays the damsel in distress instead of the Xena-like warrior implied by the movie's posters.

Movie Review: Snow White & the HuntsmanThere are a few brilliant sparks in the film though. These include the moment when Ravenna recalls what made her the evil queen, and the kiss shared by Hemsworth and Stewart that brings her to life, but they are just sparks and do little to redeem the downward-spiralling storyline. The path to the climax seems interesting, but leaves you feeling cheated as you come to terms with the goody-goody ending. Looks like director Sanders may have lost his way somewhere after the middle, just like Snow White.

The Verdict
Snow White & the Huntsman is no doubt a clever attempt at retelling the old tale, but the film comes across as a poor mediaeval fantasy story. At best, this is a bloody, violent, over-long sword-against-sorcery affair, whose stronger point is the special effects and some competent acting from Theron.

Snow White & the Huntsman official trailer.

Plot: 3.5/5
Performances: 3/5
Visuals: 4/5
Sound: 3/5
Mojo: 3.5/5

Overall: 3.5/5

TAGS: Culture, Movies, Madhulika

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