wogma rating: Watch when on TV/online (?)
Snow White and The Huntsman is a darker, grittier version of the Brothers’ grim Snow White Fairytale, but very little changes in the plot. It would have been a far more interesting film had the makers decided to toy around with gender roles and the clear good versus bad battle.Read more
Is anyone else worried about the future of the fairytales we grew up with? How have we come to a place where we have to think twice about taking children to a Snow White film? I’m not opposed to adaptations, but if the only purpose of the adaption is to make a grotesque, violent version of a tested narrative, why choose one that has been used as a bedtime story for children for years?
How would you feel if suddenly tomorrow Goofy turned out to be an evil-menacing werewolf-cum-canine who has ferocious animosity against humans? Similarly, while Snow White and The Hunstman is mysteriously dark and has the potential to be a memorable action-fantasy film with stunningly creepy visuals and performances, it seems like making a violent adaption was the primary motive. In which case, I would have preferred the violence and ruggedness be translated into a different plot.
The basic story of the film is the same – after killing the king, Snow White’s father, Ravenna (Charlize Theron), the evil step-mother imprisons Snow White (Kristen Stewart) in the castle. Vanity is Ravenna’s vice, and in pursuit to be the fairest of them all, she is willing to go to any measure.
The dwarves aren’t characterized as Sleepy, Happy, Bashful etc; nor is Snow White the demure damsel in distress. While this deconstruction seems refreshing on paper, the plot goes in no particular direction. Ultimately, Kristen Stewart’s performance is cold and you can’t tell the difference between her in Twilight and in this film.
Chris Hemsworth also looks like he’s dropped out of Thor, into the film. Besides, his role is almost negligible. Charlize Theron is the star performer of the film – positively sinister and she does make you flinch more than once.
The rugged quality of the film however, is brought out well. Snow White and The Huntsman serves as an interesting adaptation with potential as compared to Mirror Mirror that was released earlier this year. This is mostly because the mood of the film takes an entire 180 degree turn from the original fairytale.
Writer Hossein Amini (of Drive fame) and first time director Rupert Sanders together bring together a gritty texture that does manage to engross you in bits. While the action is more visual effects-heavy and seems a bit forced, the colors and the mood make up for the below-average acting and manage to suck you at particular points during the film.
For these reasons particularly, you feel angry that the end result of the film resembles a complacent effort. With a rough makeover of a celebrated fairytale, Snow White and The Huntsman could have been powerful and much more immersive. For now, the film can be lauded for its attempt, but mostly you feel a rising sense of disappointment from the end result.
This review is by guest reviewer Swetha Ramakrishnan. Swetha Ramakrishnan is currently living and working in Mumbai. She's a self-confessed film enthusiast and can most likely be found talking to anyone and everyone about popular cinema and her love for SRK. Swetha Ramakrishnan also blogs at http://swetharamakrishnan.blogspot.com/.
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