Released: 01 June 2012, by Universal Studios, Roth Films
Starring: Kristin Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron and Sam Claflin
Directed by: Rupert Sanders
3 stars (out of 4)
In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen. (IMDb.com)
So the fairy tale I’ve been looking forward to seeing since the first trailer appeared last November has finally arrived. Is Snow White the fairest in the land? Not quite, but it’s darn close. In this revisionist look at the classic fairy tale, Snow White and the Huntsman gives us an evil queen with an actual back story, a young princess with guts, and two very different men who will fight for her.
Charlize Theron is the biggest stand-out here as Queen Ravenna, giving her character both impressive strength and a bit of vulnerability. I really felt Ravenna was the most well-written character of the movie, which provided Theron with a meaty part to sink her teeth into. This is a queen who is embittered by the way women are used by men and is determined to use her beauty to gain every bit of power she can. She gets her wish when she marries Snow White’s father, King Magnus, who lost his beloved wife a few years prior. On their wedding night, she kills him, takes over his kingdom, and locks his daughter in a tower. When the princess escapes after years of captivity, Ravenna puts all of her resources toward recapturing her so she can kill her, eat her heart, and obtain eternal beauty. Along the way we get hints of a woman who had a harsh childhood and will do anything she can to avoid going back to a powerless state.
Kristin Stewart does what she can with Snow White, but is hampered by a lack of development for her character. I thought she did a wonderful job in the action-packed escape from the tower at the beginning of the film, and portrayed the fear and desperation of Snow White as she wanders lost in the Dark Forest nicely. She also had an entertaining sequence involving a bridge troll. The problem is that she is given nowhere to grow the character. She is joined by the huntsman and eight feisty dwarfs, but we never see her developing the skills she will need to take down the queen. Stewart does very well with what she is given, and I thought she made a beautiful Snow White who looked fragile but contained an inner strength. I just think an opportunity was missed by the writer and director to show her learning how to fight and to lead men. (more…)