Staring at the white page, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, searching for ideas to start my review on “Snow White and the Huntsman”. Surprisingly, out of the whole epic scenes, what came to mind is K-Stew’s pale, unexpressive face, supposedly conveying Snow White’s incomparable beauty and genuine purity.
Please don’t get me wrong; I don’t have anything against K-Stew. In fact, I even thought her acting was brilliant for such a young age. Not intrigued watching any of the “Twilight Saga” sequels, I always wondered why K-Stew, and her whole Saga’s gang, has been all over the news. I’ve acknowledged Robert Pattinson, K-Stew’s Twilight and real life bf, from the “Water for Elephants” and gave him two thumbs up for his bold acting, on par with Reese Witherspoon’s. Yet, yesterday I found my answer, through my first encounter with K-Stew’s work. Though I found some scenes were relatively awkward, the first part of K-Stew’s Snow White managed to showcase a feel of sincerity and gentleness of the Princess in believable emotional journey of fear, hope, and compassion.
The movie itself, “Snow White and the Huntsman”, I wouldn’t consider beautifully crafted nor satisfactorily ended as it rather presented audience with an obviously fuzzy closure of Snow White officially appointed as Queen and her smile to the Huntsman, as if requesting for consent. This open-ended finale is rather similar to “The Hunger Games”, in which Katnis (played by Jennifer Lawrence) threw a vague smile to her childhood lover during her winning, home-coming parade. Such ending indicates clearly that a sequel is to be expected. However, unlike the latter, “Snow White and the Huntsman” was rather lacking in development of the Princess-Huntsman relationship.
Nevertheless, despite its few unrefined moments, especially when the audience have certainly hoped to see more in depth exploration in the feelings evolved between the ‘probable’ couple, I’d have to admit I enjoyed watching the movie. As an audience, what captivated me most was how the traditional fairy tale has been converted into an epic, watchable by both youths and adults. Thrill and suspense brought to life, that’s how I’d describe my one-time sitting, watching the movie. Its clever use of visual and sound effects, though often exaggerated, managed to send the audience into a nicely paced train of adrenaline boost. Following the trails of Snow White during her escapades and her whole journey, with the Huntsman, across the Dark Forest, audience would be entertained with lingering actions, along with miraculous revelations of the Princess’ power of purified heart.
I’m glad that the writer decided to include scenes on the Sanctuary of the Lady, or the land of the fairies, in addition to the already folklore darkness with the quicksand, black snakes, and huge troll attack in the Dark Forest. The fairy land has somewhat given a balance between darkness and light. The creative wonder of human imagination presents itself not only in the form of mythical creatures such as tiny, alien-looking fairies, but also as never-seen plants and animals. Appearance of the mythical deer, identified with its white fur and elaborate antlers which signify majesty, has also reminded me of Aslan, the Wise Lion of Narnya, who gives divine guidance to the young warriors. Rather typical!
Yet, the iconic, human-like, tin creature that appears whenever the magic mirror was summoned, though definitely distinctive compared to other Snow White adaptations, was rather “comical”. I honestly couldn’t figure my own response towards its appearance. Is it supposed to be scary? If it does, how come I wasn’t sure if I should hold my breath, or if I should instead laugh for its awkward resemblance.
Finally, writing this review wouldn’t feel complete if I didn’t mention about Charlize Theron’s act as Ravenna, the evil sorceress queen, who in her vanity of youthful beauty has caused harms to many. To tell you the truth, the main reason I watched this movie was knowing Charlize was the one playing evil. Before Charlize, I recalled a few other Hollywood Divas taking the role of an evil queen: Nicole Kidman in “The Golden Compass” and Julia Roberts in another recent adaptation of Snow White, “Mirror Mirror”, which I automatically compared with Charlize’s capacity to play evil. All I could say was, even before watching Charlize’s version of evil queen, I already knew that hers would be better than the other two contenders. Nicole might have been a much better evil than Julia, but her kindness is definitely more believable than her mischiefs.
I truly enjoyed seeing Charlize’s version of Ravenna. Although some critics would say that her expressions were often overly done, I’d have to say they were necessary to increase the dramatic effect of this epic-converted tale. Thumbs up, Charlize! Looking forward to the next contender of evil queen, Angelina Jolie, in “Maleficent”, another adaptation of a fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty”.
Overall, I guess one of the things that has mainly distinguished this epic version of Snow White and the tale-tell bedtime story, besides the fact that this Snow White is a courageous leader of men, was that evil is somewhat justifiable. Unlike the traditional Snow White, “Snow White and the Huntsman” has portrayed the humane side of Ravenna, the evil queen, whose negativity was resulted from her childhood trauma and upbringing. Though evil is still evil, no matter what, audience may choose to empathise the queen as well, hoping that she would eventually come to her senses.