Of Gothic Fairytales and Love Stories
Director: Rupert Sanders
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth , Charlize Theron, Ray Winstone, Sam Claflin, Toby Jones
Synopsis: In the epic action-adventure, "Snow White and the Huntsman", Kristen Stewart (Twilight) plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Oscar-winner Charlize Theron) who is out to destroy her. But, what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman, Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Avengers) who was dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin also (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White’s beauty and power. The breathtaking new vision of the legendary tale is from Joe Roth, the producer of "Alice in Wonderland" and from Sam Mercer the producer of "The Sixth Sense" and acclaimed commercial director and state-of-the-art visualist Rupert Sanders.
Review: Fairytale romances have always been the most sought after category of love stories – initially in books and then films. The regular romantic story has a damsel in distress and her knight in shining armour who saves her from any peril however mucky the situation is. Out of all the fairytales a child learns in his formative years, “Snow White” is a favourite amongst many. Hence after many versions and adaptations of the story first written by the Brothers Grimm in the 18th Century, the Disney film made in 1937 has been the most relatable and better known story. It had a beautiful princess, an evil queen, a Prince Charming and an eventual happily ever after.
The latest version of the timeless fairytale is “Snow White and the Huntsman” starring Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Charlize Theron (Sweet November, Hancock) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Avengers) in the lead roles along with highly revered British thespians as the dwarves and Sam Claflin as the supposed Prince Charming.
The film starts with King Magnus (Noah Huntley) leading his army into battle against the attacking force only to find himself falling in love with a beautiful prisoner, Ravenna (Charlize Theron). The King, a widower has a daughter destined to one day become the queen of the kingdom, but life has rather perilous plans for her. Ravenna is a witch in disguise who strongly dislikes men for reasons undisclosed through the course of the film. No points for guessing her POA. She ends up murdering the King to take over as the ruling authority and sentences his beautiful daughter to the tallest tower in the kingdom.
While the twist in the tale was a welcome watch, the glitches were too magnified to be ignored. It’s not just one person who would agree that their blind faith in love and all other rose-tinted stuff in life should be given a proper treatment. What happened to ‘true love’s kiss’? Yes, I’m aware this is a spoiler, but the sheer off-handish treatment made me rather wary. The light-hearted dialogues only come from the dwarves whose role is just about bite-sized in this larger-than-life adaptation of the fairytale, especially when you have well-known actors namely Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Toby Jones amongst others playing the part. Kristen Stewart has moved over from playing the perpetual damsel in distress into a Joan of Arc-ish Princess warrior with this venture. Chris Hemsworth somehow doesn’t stop looking chocolate-boyish in any film of his, he has definitely improved as an actor, but the expressionless face still remains the same. You seldom get lucky with the kind of roles you get in the industry, but all charm and lesser acting skill creates a huge amount of disparity. The show-stopper of the film was Charlize Theron, looking and doing every bit her part. After her magnificent performance in the film, it would be rather difficult to fathom that Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder were both considered for the role of the Evil Queen in this debut directorial venture by Rupert Sanders.
Yes, the direction was great, so were the war sequences, however the film dragged on in a lot of places. And most definitely, Kristen Stewart is not the fairer counterpart to Charlize Theron but as the moral of the story goes, it’s the inner beauty that makes her the fairest of ’em all in the whole wide world. All in all, it is a definite one-time watch if not more, especially for all the girls and fanboys who enjoy the wide gamut of film genres this film covers – Fantasy, Adventure and Superhero stories. However, if you’re expecting an entirely child-friendly film, this is not the one your kids or anyone else’s kids should be accompanying you for.
Verdict: A gothic treatment to the original concept makes for a watchable saga!