Movie review: Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)


‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?’

Snow White and the Huntsman; another film based on the fairy tale of Snow White released this year. Another one is ‘Mirror Mirror’, released few months ago which I did watch it too. I’m wondering why there are suddenly so many Snow White’s adaptation films this year. Comparing this to ‘Mirror Mirror’, it is no doubt that ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ is much more successful in many aspects. I watched it just now in Pavilion KL. I was in shock just now when a huge number of people queuing to buy movie tickets and waiting to enter are mostly for this Snow White’s film. It gains interest of a lot of people and it seems that this fairy tale is still famous after so many years. However, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ is no fairy tale as described from the movie’s tagline. It came in bigger budget and more advertising, and that is why it is better than ‘Mirror Mirror’.

The trailer for this film looks very interesting, impressive and promising to me. After watching its trailer few months ago, I had interest for it, with my eyes especially on the evil Queen Ravenna, portrayed by Charlize Theron, an Oscar-winning actress. She seems to portray the character very well, even when seen from the very few short scenes shown in the trailer itself only. And yes, her performance not only outshines the rest, but also saves the movie in the end. Without her solid and strong appearance and performance, the movie would sinks to the bottom. I can feel her evilness from her eyes and emotive expressions, and that’s a good thing. I bet many would praise her performance on this. She basically steals the show by delivering in auperb style and power on this film.

Kristen Stewart as the Snow White. Well, she is the main character and yet, Charlize Theron’s portrayal as the Queen gains more attention and interest despite with lesser amount of time on-screen. Kristen did only a fair job, not very good and not very bad. Well, she is still young and there are a lot of things she need to learn before landing on this kind of lead role. The other main character is not the prince, but is the huntsman, given order by the Queen to find Snow White in the Dark Forest whom in the end helped her instead. This character is portrayed by Chris Hemsworth who is famous as ‘Thor’. Well, he contributed a good performance but I don’t really like his existence in this film. He basically ruin the original story of the Snow White’s fairy tale by replacing the prince for the huge responsibility of saving and loving Snow White. So now on this film, the prince is only a supporting role and his kiss failed to bring back life to the Snow White. Instead, it is the huntsman’s kiss that succeeded. Ohh…too bad, now what I am expecting.

Anyway, that’s quite a good twist to the original story which I think a bit of differences to the original version are necessary for a refreshing and a different outcome. ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ adds more elaboration to the original story but fails to provide depth on some other aspects. The elaboration made which is good is on the addition of Snow White’s experience in the dark forest as well as in the so-called ‘sanctuary’ guided by the eight dwarfs (yup, eight dwarfs and not seven, but later on, one is killed and the number goes back to seven, similar to the original classic). There are some horrifying and beautiful things encountered, but that portion is a bit too excessive, leaving the middle part of the film to be quite boring and slow when there is not much of the evil Queen’s appearance anymore. But in the end, I find everything hits in a balanced proportion.

The story is extended, but not in depth disappointingly. There is no answer or background on certain parts like on the origin of the mirror that the Queen speaks too, not enough shown on the history of the Queen that contributed to her evilness, how she learnt all those black magic, and why she didn’t just kill Snow White when she was still a child as the Queen already sees her as a threat on the day of her coronation. Ahaa…so the story isn’t perfect but it’s a much better, serious, dark and epic adaptation of the famous Snow White’s fairy tale that everyone knows and remembers until these days.

The visual effects are quite stunning but the focus is not on that. Ahh, let’s not forget about the seven dwarfs too. Once the seven dwarfs appeared in the film, things started to get more interesting. They brought in laughter and ‘light’ after some unnecessary, quiet, long and huge amount of boring scenes involving the Snow White wondering in the Dark Forest with the huntsman. And finally, after almost two hours, the climax arrived and it took only about the last fifteen minutes of the film. That is certainly not enough for some exciting and thrilling clash between the evil Queen’s army with the Duke’s army in order of Snow White in the castle.

And after watching the movie, I found out that some parts shown in the trailer are actually not there in the movie itself. That is ridiculous and disappointing at the same time because I find there is some very potential or thrilling moments (the Queen screaming while mirror breaks and some others as seen from the trailer) and some memorable or strong dialogues not featured or shown in the film which is a waste. And one more thing, I find the ending to be not that good and simply sorted out without any strong consideration and thought on it. You would know what I mean once you watched it. I am expecting more actually. But it’s good enough if I didn’t come in high expectation.

Overall, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ transformed the original fairy tale into an epic experience of the Snow White and the intensifying evilness of Queen Ravenna. This production is a great masterpiece of heighten proportion and extra credit is given to Rupert Sanders as this is his first directing work. It makes ‘Mirror Mirror’ looking like a B-rated film, but I think that ‘Mirror Mirror’ is going on another direction which is much ‘lighter’ and ‘safer’ and should not be compared together. ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ is great and recommended. Out of 10 points, I rate it a total of 7.3. Ahh…I wrote a very long movie review for this one. Two hours for movie and one hour for its review.

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