snow white and the huntsman2012

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Directed by: Rupert Sanders

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Clafin, Sam Spruell

Ahh! Kristen Stewart, poor Kristen Stewart – because of Twilight people under-estimate you. They think that because your character in Twilight is unemotional, awkward and uncaring it reflects on you too. All right, you don’t help yourself in interviews where you are equally as awkward and unemotional, but most of the hate stems from jealousy… right?

Snow White and the Huntsman is by and large the next step for Stewart whose career is likely to go from strength to strength. It stars Kristen as our lovely pasty-faced heroine, the dashingly magnificent Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman and Charlize Theron as our Evil Queen, Ravenna.

The film begins, as all fairytales involving princesses do, with a father and daughter and a mother, sadly the mother dies and the father has to go to war. Upon going to war Daddy ends up finding a ‘prisoner’ in the form of Ravenna, and it soon becomes apparent not everything is quite right with her. No spoilers here, you simply need look at the poster to see that folks!

The film is visually stunning, doing itself a service by not attempting to enter the 3D market just because there are some special effects flitting about. I have and will always say that a 3D film needs to be done properly, or Hollywood needs to quit wasting people’s money. The magic of this universe is never explained and that’s nice; it just is and you should accept that (the effects make this easy to do). Nothing about the film, at least visually, feels forced.

The story is smooth; it takes you on a journey with a nice beginning, middle and end. You can’t expect originality from a remake of an old fairy tale, but the writers have certainly made this their own and it’s certainly NOT for children. When I went to see it this sadly did not stop parents bringing their six year olds and allowing them to watch as Theron dissected a baby bird with her fingernail; eating its guts. Just sayin’. The dwarves, played by some extremely famous veteran actors, are a highlight, and again they aren’t there for comedy, they are part of some of the most serious stuff in the film, and this is great.

The film title sort of tricks you into thinking there is a big romantic factor to it. However, it takes more of a backseat than you might think, actually a lot of the film revolves around the idea of ageing, the power of evil and how power destroys. Theron plays a very insecure evil and it’s brilliant, not to mention her very creepy brother Finn played by Sam Spruell (helped a lot by the haircut). Their relationship is intricate and interesting, and very tragic. Theron’s Ravenna plays very well and it’s not just about hating her, but realising why she does, what she does.

Now we come onto the main men. Hemsworth decided to give the Huntsman a Scottish accent and it works, there are no complaints. The issue I have with accents in fantasy films is that there have to be others with the same accent. Making your character stand out because of his or her accent sort of detracts from any realism that can be found in the fantasy. Could just be me though. He’s very good; his character is interesting, flawed and not the stock hero either. He’s far from perfect. This is then juxtaposed by Sam Claflin’s William, who is Snow White’s childhood friend. He’s your stock hero; perfect, noble, easy to love, hard to hate, but this just makes you root for Mr. Huntsman even more.

And then we have Miss Stewart; Snow White in this film actually requires emotion, she requires some gravitas and strength, which is something we rarely see from Kristen in her films. This is generally because of how she is cast and NOT because of her acting ability. She has proven herself as a capable actress, especially in her early career; ‘Panic Room’ anyone? Stewart doesn’t disappoint, she’s a great heroine; flawed, with a lot to learn, but easy to like.

Overall this film could be under-estimated, not only because of the reputation of Stewart, but also because it is the second Snow White film to come out this year and the first was certainly aimed at children. It is not a schmoozey romance; it’s an epic fantasy drama, not as epic as Lord of The Rings (granted), but epic enough to deserve that title. It takes a lot of effort to spin a tale out of one that’s been spun already, but when done right: it looks bloody beautiful.

★★★