We’ve all been enthralled by the beautiful story of Snow-white and the Seven Dwarfs and Prince Charming – when we were growing up
Only fitting that we get Snow-white and the Huntsman – a grown up version of the same story – albeit in a much darker vein – a stunning visual treat. Fantastic cinematography that will steal your heart and transport you to fairy land. That is the rich impression you take away when the end credits roll.
And of course, there is the gorgeous Charlize Theron. We can’t get enough of her in this movie – she truly takes the cake. The best costume (oh remember that sheer jaw-dropping black oozing gown melting and flowing on the floor while she’s writhing in pain? Oh wait, am getting ahead of myself hereJ ), the best lines and of course some of the best camera shots and special effects. A good villain always makes the hero ( in this case, heroine!) look good. Remember Joker? Here Charlize Theron as the evil queen wins the applause – she’s pure evil. Black, menacing, unforgettable. Brilliant performance towering head and shoulders above the rest of the cast.
A grim bleak setting of a stone castle by the sea forms the centre of the power struggle where black tides are about to drown the kingdom. A young helpless girl is taken in by the King – ahem, he is captivated by the doe eyes and that blond hair, not withstanding a lovely show of the legs – the girl unfortunately for the king is a Man-eater ( or should I say, Hater?) who kills him on their first night bed and then invites the enemy to take over the kingdom. Queen Ravenna (what a name! does it bring you visuals of black ravens screeching like possessed witches? You might just be right!) devours pretty young girls for their beauty and stays forever looking young, beautiful and bitchy. She shuts up the king’s young daughter in the highest tower and kills everybody else in the kingdom. Times fly and the young thing grows up to be Kirsten Stewart (the pale stone-washed Bella from Twilight with bugs-bunny teeth and zero expressions ) – our Heroine Snow White. My opinion: Kirsten Stewart plays a zombie snow white – a little washed out and definitely NOT the embodiment of everything pure white and innocent. That’s one casting I would say they definitely got wrong. We were debating who else would have fit the bill the entire time. Natalie Portman? Keira Knightly? Blake Lively? Sigh. Even Kirsten Dunst would have been better? But to her credit, she puts some weight behind the final action scenes – kinda reminded me of Kate Beckinsale’s Underworld character. But altogether, am willing to forgive the director this slip-up. Coz even though she gets to play the titular character, this story wasn’t about Snow White.
She escapes and heads out into the Dark Forest; the Queen sends out a drunk shifty huntsman to hunt her down. In our childhood versions, this character is hardly worth an eye-blink. An older fellow who takes pity on the young innocent girl. But here he gets a full blown role. We got the charming Chris Hermsworth playing the huntsman, out to woo the ladies with his drop-me-dead blue eyes and long dreadlocks tied up in a pony. But really, he does not get much to do. He keeps mooning over his dead wife and gets to swing a mean axe and hack through mail chain and armor spilling blood. But wait, it gets interesting. It goes into a love triangle as a long forgotten prince ( remember the Prince Charming who kisses Snow White from her death sleep?) – Son of the duke loyal to the King and her playmate from childhood, comes back into action. A wicket bowman who can shoot down almost anything. Sam Clafiflin plays the lover boy and plays it reasonably well. The good thing is the love triangle is not resolved. In the sequel perhaps? Into this confused mix, come in the large hearted Dwarfs – seven of them with their great straggly beards and gruff demeanor who fall for the pretty Snow White. Does this rag tag bunch finally get their revenge against their Evil Queen? This is what we get to know as the movie hurtles to a screaming climax with the final raid against the stone castle by the sea.
It’s a hodgepodge of a lot of little things – sadly left unexplored fully. But personally, I loved it. For all it’s unfinished themes, I came away a happy camper. I love these dark grim tales. And it don’t come darker and meaner than this movie. ( hasn’t in a long time!)
The show stealer was definitely the Evil Queen and the brilliant camera work! Gawd! Some scenes were mind-blowing and eerily haunting – a pale Queen dripping milky white and disappearing into the milk bath complete with her iron-black crown. Three drops of blood splashing onto the niveous white carpet of snow laid out at the start of the movie. The movie ends with the same three drops of blood splattering onto a bleak stony castle floor. When the queen explodes into a murder of screeching black ravens. The fairy land and beautiful greenery dotted with the most amazing looking animals. Fantastic animation effects.
A word for the newbie director: Rupert Sanders. We're gonna hear a lot more of this guy for sure! What visual flair.
Go watch for Charlize Theron. And for the funky animation effects guaranteed to blow your minds. And of course a grim re-telling of your favorite fairy tale.