I got to see Snow White and The Huntsman this past week. It was…well, it was like they took the basic storyline of Snow White and greatly expanded it.
Okay, yes, possible spoilers, but if you know the basic story of Snow White, you really already know this whole story.
Over the spoiler alert? Okay, so the story goes like this: Snow White’s dad married the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), yes the evil queen inherited the kingdom–by killing the king. She locked Snow (Kristen Stewart) in the dungeon…and (here’s where it starts to diverge from the fairy tale) she starts draining blood from other young female villagers–Elizabeth Bathory style. The queen’s icky brother* (Sam Spruell) takes a liking to Snow (that’s the icky part), Snow attacks him and escapes. The mirror (in this case an almost-T-2 type man-form) tells Queen Ravenna she needs Snow’s heart to solidify her beauty. Queen Ravenna hires the huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to find Snow and bring back her heart.
However, when he finds her (in the dark forest, of course) she talks him out of killing her. He joins with her, in an endeavor to deliver her to the castle of Duke Hammond. On their way, they meet the dwarves (who the huntsman apparently knows), and a village of families whose wives and daughters scar themselves to save them from the queen. A ghostly elk gives Snow his blessing, and they move on.
The Queen tricks Snow by taking the form of her old friend, the duke’s son William (played by Sam Claflin). He/She gives Snow an apple, Snow eats it and dies….true love is not the true love you think it/he is. He kisses her. She’s still dead. He walks away, she comes to life, walks dreamily into the courtyard, into the midst of the assembled army, and gives them a Braveheart-like “inspire the troops” speech. The army heads off to kill Queen Ravenna. The two armies clash, Snow confronts the queen alone.
Oh, and the battle with the Queen’s mirror army? Way cool!
Possibly spoilers below, but , you know, if you’ve read this far–and let’s face it if you know the fairy tale, you know how it ends…
Anyway, Snow defeats the queen, takes the throne. (Virgin Queen-like. No marrying the prince to be seen. I guess you guys can see what I feel about that being an end goal of stories. What can I say? I am a feminist).
All right, Kristin Stewart needs acting lessons, they need to explain why she was wearing pants under her gown (yes, like tight jeans) when the story takes place in a clearly Medieval/Renaissance world, and let me just log a protest here, I hate when the raven is always associated with the bad guy–but all in all, I found Snow White & The Huntsman a fantastic spin on the fairy tale. Very, very dark, and might I add, very gorgeous cinematography. Oh my, I loved the Elk scene! Brought Jolene Dawe‘s story “The Elk Prince” (from The Fairy Queen of Spencer’s Butte) to mind.
Keeper? Possibly. Star grading? Well…I don’t know?4? 4 1/2? if only for that *cough* anachronism of the jeans and the raven association–but that’s my particular quirk.
At any rate, I want to see it again when it hits video. So yes, I’d say, if you suspend what you know of the story, you may find it’s very well done. (Oh, and I have to say…love that Florence + the Machine contributed a song to the soundtrack. What me? A fangirl? )
*By the way, that’s the technical term, “icky”. By the way, I’m sure Mr. Spruell isn’t icky in real life–but man, does he pull it off here!