When you hear the words Snow White, you most likely think of the Walt Disney animated classic, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. Even if you have never seen that movie, you are probably familiar with many of the elements to it: Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?, the poison apple and all that other jazz. A very new and unique take on the Snow White tale is now in theaters, “Snow White and the Huntsman” starring Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth.
The basic story of “Snow White and the Huntsman” is still the same as the classic story we all know; however, this movie is darker, deeper and adds many layers to the story. An evil queen (Charlize Theron) rules a kingdom with an iron fist. The queen, named Ravenna is obsessed with her own beauty and can suck the beauty out of young women to maintain her own. Snow White escapes the kingdom and into the Dark Forrest before Ravenna can kill her. A Huntsman (Hemsworth), who knows the forest well, is brought in to help capture Snow White.
To reveal much more of the story would be spoiling it and this is a movie worth checking out. Snow White goes on to have many fantastic encounters on her journey, including one with a troll, run-ins with Ravenna and yes, the seven dwarfs. The world Snow White and the other characters inhabit is breathtaking to behold. There is plenty of eye candy as far as the special effects, set design and costumes are concerned. “Snow White and the Huntsman” is sure to grab a number of technical Oscar nominations, especially special effects.
The person who is going to get a lot of attention in this movie is obviously Kristen Stewart. This is the first big budget feature she has starred in since she began doing the Twilight movies. While those movies are very popular, Stewart does not get recognized for her acting skills. In fact, when people see her playing Bella in Twilight, some say she is a bad actress. Nothing could be further from the truth. The problem is that the character of Bella is so pathetically written, that it gets concluded that Kristen Stewart can’t act.
She is a VERY smart person because instead of choosing nothing but big budget movies, Kristen Stewart chose to make independent features instead. Anyone who has seen her in “The Runaways” or “Welcome to the Rileys” knows that this young woman can REALLY act and she brings those skills with her onto “Snow White and the Huntsman”. Just look into her eyes during the movie and you can see she is really the character of Snow White who is going through a terrible ordeal both externally and internally. Also, her English accent is flawless.
For the most part, the rest of the cast rounds out pretty well. Theron can go a little over the top at times, but she is one evil queen and relishes in the role. Hemsworth continues to build up his resume as a leading man. Nick Frost and Bob Hoskins play a couple of the dwarfs and they both do a great job along with the five others. The weakest in the cast would have to be Sam Claflin who plays William. Too often he appears to be acting, rather than become the character the way his fellow cast mates manages to do.
The movie was directed by Rupert Sanders and this is his first feature he has ever directed. Why would someone who has primarily only directed commercials be given the reins of such a big budget summer movie is a mystery. However, Mr. Sanders really delivers something special. He obviously has an amazing eye for visuals and, with the exception of a few slow moments, keeps the movie flowing pretty well. He got James Newton Howard to provide the musical score, but it is sometimes a little too much in your face and could have been toned down, a choice that was most likely made by Sanders.
“Snow White and the Huntsman” is a chick flick. Some consider that term insulting to a movie, but it really does fit here. However, this is a chick flick in disguise as a fantasy/action movie so everyone can enjoy it. After an advanced screening at the Cobb Theater in Pine Gardens, five young men in the 20s could not stop talking about what a good movie they had just seen. June is here and it appears that the summer movie season is ready to pick up some steam. “Snow White and the Huntsman” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality.