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Friday, 9 January 2015

My review on "Snow White and the Huntsman"



The Hollywood film "Snow White and the Hunstman" (2012) was the most darkest and mythical of all films based on my favourite fairy tale "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". It's the closest to the original Grimm fairytale, but also nearest to the legendary past it could possibly go.

It starred Charlize Theron ("Aeon Flux") as the wicked queen. Chris Hemsworth ("Thor") as Eric the huntsman. Kristen Stewart ("Bella Swan" from Twighlight) as Snow White. Those are the three main characters. It began with English model Liberty Ross as the original queen, Snow White's mother, wishing for a daughter with skin as white as snow, hair as black as ravens, lips as red as blood. After the death of the queen, the child Snow White is introduced to the new queen, Ravenna, played by Theron. Ravenna kills the king, and Snow White is locked up in a dingey grim tower. Queen Ravenna has a mirror that resembles a bronze shield, and manifests into a phantom. She also has a brother, who acts as her guardian and kills on her behalf. There is something incestuous about this brother and sister going on that suggests corruption and decay.

Snow White was raised in the horrific conditions of a tower prison, who befriended girls who ended up ruined because, we know, the queen drained their life. Theron's Ravenna is the best evil queen to appear in a Snow White film since the Disney animated "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1939). She appears to consume blood, is cannibalistic, bathes in "milk", sucks the life out of young virgins to regain her youth and beauty, and she doesn't look human. Some scenes she resembles a living corpse and other times she looks like a supernatural entity. Her gown is the same colour as the barren landscape outside the palace. She's like Countess Bathory. When she emerges from the bath, she looks like the Statue of Liberty.

Snow White manages to get out of the castle, and escapes through the nightmarish forest full of monsters, creepy crawlies and ghosts. There she is found by the huntsman, who ends up assisting her throughout the rest of the film, because he really wanted a large bag of gold from her. That was the original deal. But you get to understand how he grows protective of her and will hold her hand at every chance.

Before she ever meets the delightful dwarves, she comes up against other things that are not included in the Grimm's fairytale. There is a troll, and a village of boat people with just women and girls surviving there. And of course, the beautiful white hart beast, who connects with Snow White. Sadly the creature is killed (I'm reminded of the Forest Spirit in "Princes Mononoke" Ghibli animation 1997, and I'm not the only one to observe that either, check out this.).

Snow White has often been considered "one with the land" who can purify and fertilise the entire landscape with plants and vegetation! Only her power can do this, as the theme says. Like a piece from Excalibur (1981) when King Arthur is "one with the land".Snow White always came across as a helpless girl running away but all of a sudden, put on armour, and she's a furious warrior! In earlier stages of the film, the huntsman Eric shows her how to fight, so that her strength is owed to him. This isn't a feminist film although it tries to appeal to feminists, but this film says that a woman is not able to survive without the aide of a man. The queen couldn't be so evil and powerful without the help of her brother. Snow White couldn't be a fighter without the huntsman.

The childhood friend William is an off character, who appears deceptive but is all part of the queen's trickery. He gave Snow White the poisoned apple, but it wasn't him after all. But he couldn't wake up Snow White from death. Only the hunstman did that while he was drunk and reminiscing about his former wife! But that said he ended up with Snow White as her ally.

Despite the film's strangeness, there are features that are quite different, the use of ravens, and the outlaw dwarves who are like the Time Bandits. Sometimes the story might've been better if Eric wasn't always with Snow White as an extra limb, so that she may go forth and seek out the dwarves alone, help the white hart's wound, befriend trolls and goblins, and even fight back the queen in her own way, not a man's way.

There are impressive scenes, particularly the dark forest and the creatures. The queen Ravenna was the highlight, being so scary and true to the fairytale.  


Snow White and the Huntsman

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