Snow White and the Huntsman film review
(Rating: 12A, 127 mins) Written by Zen Terrelonge
Starring – Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost.
Snow White and the Huntsman (SWATH) is the second adaptation of the classic pasty-face princess tale to hit screens in recent months, following the recent release of Mirror Mirror.
Before the films were released, both directors claimed their respective film would outshine the other, bringing the story to life as ‘never seen before.’
And aside from the central character, the tales were entwined even further too, as Mirror Mirror’s Lily Collins originally auditioned for the lead role in SWATH. She was, of course, beaten by Twilight star Kristen Stewart.
It’s an important win for Stewart, who has been dubbed a one-trick pony for her sullen expressions as the vampire franchise’s lead, Bella Swan. But, to Stewart’s fairness, Swan is a very dull creature with no personality, so even the best actress may possibly encounter problems bringing the lovestruck bore to life.
SWATH begins with a much-loved king and queen of a beautiful and blossoming land giving birth to Snow, but the happiness is short-lived, as the queen dies when Snow hits her preteen years. The passing leaves a hole in the king’s heart, which is when an army takes the opportunity to attack the region, but the royal warrior is relieved after the battle when he rescues stunning, but dishevelled, damsel-in-distress, Ravenna (Theron).
The blonde beauty soon takes over as a new queen, which lays the scene for magical darkness to plague the land, while she purges the youth and glow of the kingdom’s teenagers to retain her radiance, also taking the time to lock Snow in a dungeon devoid of any life.
Years pass, and while Ravenna looks no different, the young princess has grown into a woman, which opens the door for Stewart to take over in the role.
The daylight-starved blue blood does pretty much no speaking to begin with, but it’s not long until she escapes her once glorious home, finding herself on the run from the titular huntsman (Hemsworth) – a drunk that has lost his way – bullied into hunting down Snow, though he is overwhelmingly ignorant as to who his prey really is.
It’s clear Hemsworth utilises his experience earned playing brutish viking god, Thor, to portray the Scottish axe-wielder in SWATH, while Theron is brilliant as deranged monster, Ravenna.
Sadly, praise can’t really be heaped upon Stewart’s shoulders who simply comes across as Bella Swan with an English accent; fragile, nervous and insecure, though again, in fairness, Snow and Swan are essentially the same character.
Meanwhile, the dwarfs in the film are pretty similar to the ones in Mirror Mirror, gruff at first, before they fall victim to the princess’ inner beauty, the one weapon that threatens to topple her mother-in-law’s iron-fisted rule.
Unlike the big three in the cast, the dwarfs are all UK thespians, with big names including Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone and Nick Frost among the little people, with Hoskins taking on a wizened Gandalf-esque position to lead his band of men.
As for the film itself, the magical medieval setting presents an edgy reworking, which rings familiar with films such as Season of the Witch, Robin Hood, and Conan the Barbarian, complete with swords, armour, war cries and blood, rather than the conventional fairytale it’s based upon.
SWATH is in cinemas now.