: Snow White and the Huntsman
My feelings are so divided about this film I’m not sure what to think. On the one hand, the visuals are terrific and the film has a unique feel, but the lifeless story is pretty much the regular Snow White story and isn’t innovative at all. I want to like it, and I did like much of it, but in the end it feels like a whole lot of fuss about nothing.
Yet I’m also split because I like that it sticks true to the original story. If it hadn’t, I probably would have bashed it for being different. I suppose part of my trouble is that my impression from the promos was that this was a different story and it wasn’t. If I’d known going in that it was the same story, I would have been better prepared for that. Instead I was disappointed.
There’s also too much action in the film; I never thought of Snow White as a warrior, and seeing her in battle armor and sword fighting is just ludicrous. Most of the fighting isn’t very interesting, either, and it feels superfluous as though added in to spice up a dull story.
Visually, the film is outstanding, however. I love the way magic is used in the film: very subtle and really cool. For instance, when the Wicked Witch turns into a flock of ravens and escapes, she returns to her castle and the ravens morph back into her human form and she’s wearing a black suit covered in oozing black oil and black feathers. She’s ill and crawling along the ground like a dying bird stuck in oil; it’s really creepy and perfectly done. Similarly, much of the aging/youthifying magic is so subtle and well-done you barely notice it.
(That said, I thought the magic mirror was horrible — some sort of featureless silvery blob that forms from the mirror. With five minutes thought I can think of ten ways to do that in a more interesting manner.)
The casting of Charlize Theron as the Wicked Witch is amazing; unfortunately Kristen Stewart as Snow White is just as bad in the other direction.
Ultimately this is one of those uncomfortable films: great in some ways and worth seeing for those, but full of odd flaws and an uninspiring storyline that just isn’t compelling. I fell asleep watching it, but I’m still glad I saw what I saw as I did enjoy the spectacle.