Snow White and the Huntsman:
1. Yes, it has some cool scenes and really neat concepts.
2. Yes, there is equal opportunity ogling to be had.
3. No, this will not redeem Kristen Stewart’s acting career for most people.
4. You should see it.
We’re getting into spoiler country now and you have been warned. Snow White and the Huntsman had the potential to be a great movie, and if you look past the lacklustre dialogue, the rushed plot and the very poorly written “lead,” it still is. I think there was some really great concept work going on before the writing and editing fell down the stairs.
Snow White is a poorly written and acted character in this film. Stewart is once again giving us blank expressions. Near the end of the film we see flickers of good acting and emotion, but these are hindered by the lack of dialogue she has and how poor it is delivered when she does have it. Snow White under goes no character development at all. Yet, she goes from ‘oh I could never hurt a person’ to leading an army and slaying evil with no actual event to cause it.
She isn’t relatable as a character. However, Snow White can be used as an excellent mirror to Theron’s Queen Ravenna. It is established by Ravenna that she and Snow White share the same blessing, and thus, the same power. The comparisons continue as we learn more about our villain.
They end at the fact that Ravenna doesn’t stop at revenge. She continues to find and destroy men (whom she hated) and starts consuming the youth of young women to stay beautiful and fair. So Ravenna is a man-hating, power-hungry, gurl-eating witch. And, might I add, a victim of rape.
Snow White however, remains through the course of this film, “as pure as the virgin snow.” She even fights off her would be rapist, Ravenna’s brother Finn, with a rusty nail. Because of her purity, she is good, and thus nature is restored.
I would like to put my faith in the writers and assume that they meant this parallel to be about choices. That Ravenna took it too far, killed too many, and perverted nature too much. I’d like to think that the message of heart over beauty was the point, and that Snow White was fairest of heart. Otherwise I’d rather not think about it.
This brings us to our two male leads.
Finn is the Queen’s brother, right hand, and hinted-at lover. On top of the potential incest, he is also a killer and (in all but directly stated) rapist. He aides his sister in her dark workings and likely thinks her mad; but that serves his purpose. He is feared, he has his pick of women, he has power and youth and all it costs him is to be his sister’s whipping boy. He is even more despicable than his sister (but still more interesting to watch than Snow White).
The Huntsman seems to be the victim of much rewriting. He is a drunken suicidal widower who knows his way around the forest. The Huntsman starts out as a reluctant mentor /father figure, and suddenly, near the end of the film, BAM spontaneous romantic interest. Not that he makes a great mentor figure; he also teaches Snow White a single blocking move that just happens to save her against the Queen.
I saw this “massive twist” coming as soon as we saw the real Prince of the film, and how he compares to Hemsworth. The Prince would kiss her, nothing would happen, and suddenly the Huntsman confesses he loves her and kisses her. To Hemsworth’s credit it was likely the best acted scene in the film. Regardless, I was right in my predictions, except for one thing: It is never mentioned again.
No one asks how she is suddenly alive again. They never talk about it. There is no romantic resolution or explanation as to why the kiss worked. Had they focused more on the interesting character studies they developed or had they written better dialogue and made Snow White more than a McGuffin, it would have been a much stronger film.