This one I recommend.

Charlize Theron as the queen.

Gorgeously made; better than thought accomplishable

This was one of the year’s most alarming films for me. Were they really going to do it again? Finally attempt to adapt one of the world’s most beloved fairy tales but fail and turn it into idiotic, Twilight-esque fan fiction? Is that what it is? Is Snow White and The Huntsman the next Red Riding Hood? This may shock some of you, but no.

Snow White and The Huntsman is the aforementioned type of adaptation done mostly (not to mention surprisingly) right. It has changes that work, a story that remains faithful enough, the darker upgrades are done well and the visuals are really something! Of course, I thought this was going to be awful and unwatchable, and it is always fun when a film proves me wrong in that.

Charlize Theron portrays this film’s queen, an evil sorceress named Ravenna. She rules ruthlessly over a land she’s taken over from King Magnus (Noah Huntley), with the aide of her violent brother Vinn (Sam Spruell) and a dark army known as, well, the Dark Army. She is obsessed with staying young and beautiful, constantly stealing the youth from the young ladies who reside in the nearby village, so when she is told by her magic mirror (voiced by Christopher Obi Ogugua) that there is one destined to surpass her, she is infuriated.

The fairest of them all is, of course, Snow White (Kristen Stewart), daughter of King Magnus. She has been locked in the castle since surviving Ravenna’s takeover years ago. Just as Ravenna intends to suck out her youth, she manages to escape her prison and run into the woods in what is a surprisingly badass escape scene for a character like Snow White. Ravenna hires a skillful but often drunken Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to chase her down, but he befriends the young princess instead and helps her find the other people who survived the attack from Ravenna, including her long lost childhood friend William (Sam Clafin), to later attack Ravenna and fight her off the throne.

Snow White surrounded by various magical animals in one of the film’s most gorgeous scenes.

My opinion on this film’s Snow White is a bit mixed.  True, it looks as if Kristen Stewart’s facial muscles yet again have got cement stuck in between them and whilst she’s cute as a button I’m not really sure about “fairest of them all”.  She is strong and clever though – more than I can say for the 1937 version – and is sometimes shot in beautiful ways and does admittedly look good but if I were Charlize Theron, I’d not be too worried about competition. As for Theron, her queen is enjoyably menacing and crazy, Huntsman inspires a few laughs, but the dwarves – yes the dwarves do appear in this film – they’re just lovely.

The dwarves aren’t exactly like the ones in Walt Disney‘s Snow White and The Seven Dwarves of course, but traces of their classic personalities and traits can be found. One of them (Ian McShane) reminded me of Grumpy, another dwarf (Toby Jones) mentions somethig about a lengthy cold, another (Brian Gleeson) made me think of Dopey and I guess Bob Hoskins‘ dwarf was a bit similar to Doc. Also appearing as dwarves are Nick Frost, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan and Johnny Harris, some of whom are diffcult to recognize in nicely made costumes.

Snow White and The Huntsman’s strongest quaility is the visuals and music. During the scenes set in the enchanted woods, it was impossible for me to get my eyes off the movie screen. The score made it all the more relaxingly beautiful.

Overall, this is an enjoyable film and nowhere near as lousy as it had potential to become. Some ideas work while others don’t but the film doesn’t enter the dreaded “stupid fanfic” territory where the likes of Alice in Wonderland can be found. It has beautiful imagery, good cinematography (sans the somewhat shaky action scenes), a well-selected cast, a nice soundtrack and some genuinely inventive Fantasy concepts. It’s definitely better than Mirror Mirror, no questions there.

Many might think that all these filmmakers who have started making adaptations of fairy tales (and sometimes stealing from the Disney-versions) is an indication that Hollywood is drastically running out of ideas. Let it be known that Snow White and the Huntsman is the first piece of evidence that there are indeed ways to make such a concept work. Can’t say I’m tempted by the Sleeping Beauty prequel though. I mean… come on.

4/5 whatever

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