Thursday, June 28, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

Starring: Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Bob Hoskins
Director: Rupert Sanders
Running Time: 2 hours, 7 minutes
Rating: PG-13

FIRST PIC: See Angelina Jolie as Maleficent!
Photo courtesy of Greg Williams/Disney; US Weekly
I’m really digging Hollywood’s idea of live-action remakes of classic animated Disney movies. Just last week, a photo of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” surfaced from the highly anticipated remake, and it tells the story from the antagonist’s point of view. Similarly, “Snow White and the Huntsman” reveals a much darker evil queen, and blurs the lines of reality and (science) fiction. (Side note - I’m glad I chose to spend two hours watching “Snow White and the Huntsman” as opposed to the silly “Mirror Mirror.” Sorry, Julia Roberts. Armie Hammer would have been the only highlight of that movie.)

Photo courtesy of Allstar/Universal; The Guardian
The setting is ambiguous; both the time period and location are unclear, but we seem to be in some sort of fantasy world, a la Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland." Second only to “Monster,” Charlize Theron is in the role of her life as the gorgeous, wicked Ravenna, stepmother to Snow White, and ruler of the kingdom. This performance deserves nominations of all sorts. Her portrayal of Ravenna made the movie successful, and it dragged when she was not on-screen. And props to the costumer – I would love to rock any one of Ravenna’s smashing outfits.

While there were moments of the awkward Bella from “Twilight,” Kristen Stewart perfectly fit the profile as the fair, yet strong-willed Snow White. The grime underneath Stewart's fingernails was a necessary detail, as she practically became Bear Grylls to escape being Ravenna's prisoner.

Sam Spruell portrays Ravenna’s creepy brother (with a chatch haircut) and it’s obvious that he’s both bewitched by and terrified of his sister’s power. In one scene, he hears her asking the “Mirror, Mirror on the wall” the most famous question of them all. Ravenna clearly sees the mirror come to life and speak the answer, but her brother just sees her talking to herself. It’s obvious that this is all in her mind, and that she is seriously disturbed.

Chris Hemsworth and the dwarves in 'Snow White'
Photo courtesy of Splash News/Universal; OK Magazine
The only subtle humor comes from Chris Hemsworth as the drunk (and jacked) Huntsman, but there is very little of this comedic relief. Hired by Ravenna to capture Snow White from the deep, dark forest, he soon realizes he should help SW escape her doomed fate. For those of you wondering about the dwarfs – they make an appearance, though in the middle of the film when the plot begins to drag. And they all seemed to be named “Grumpy.” Bob Hoskins (Mr. Smee, anyone?) is the head dwarf and is practically unrecognizable.

There’s definitely an underlying theme in this modern fairy tale: women don’t need a man to be successful. Ravenna’s desire for power resulted from being “thrown out like a scrap” by a man. By being in control, she doesn’t have to worry about a man walking all over her. I get it, but she is relentless in her rise to the top. Similarly, the end leaves you wondering about Snow White’s romantic future. Though Chris Hemsworth’s bod would be enough to seal mine.

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