Once upon a time… That is how all fairy tales begin, and true to its nature, Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman complied. But, that is where the stereotypical fairy tale ends. Of course, there is still the Evil Queen, Ravenna, played by the exquisite Charlize Theron, and there is still Snow
White, played by Kristen Stewart, and yes, there are still seven dwarfs but they are not at all like the sweet Disney characters of 1937. They have axes, swords and the like, which goes to show how much fairy tales have evolved in the 21st century.
These days, just like Snow White and the Huntsman, the prince is not really needed in order to ‘save’ the princess, as she saves herself. In fact, specifically in this version of Snow White, William aka ‘Prince Charming’ (Sam Claflin) is not needed at all. He is Snow’s childhood friend, and seeks her out whilst going undercover with Ravenna’s men, but other than that he plays no role. SPOILER ALERT: He does not even wake her from death with true loves first kiss. It is the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) who does that. That does not mean that the Huntsman is Snow’s saviour, more like she is his after giving him hope of a different life instead of being the local drunkard.
There has been much speculation with regards to the choice of actors for this film, namely Kristen Stewart in the starring role. She had to somehow become the British fairytale princess and be a badass at the same time. She balanced it quite well. It wasn’t the best performance in the world but she gave it a good go, and she held her ground as a warrior whilst surrounded by all those beefy
men. However, the real star was Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen. She knows how to command a room, and she did so in Snow White and the Huntsman. All she had to do was look and you would be thinking, ‘I’m glad I’m not on the wrong side of her.’
The film itself is beautifully created. The mise-en-scene is stunning with the dark forest and the fairy land. The dark forest with all its twisted branches, thorns, and mass of fog makes you squirm in your seat a little. The branches can turn into your worst fear which is a horrible thought but a great idea
for film, although it has been done before. In contrast, the fairy land is exquisite and the complete opposite of the dark forest. It is bright, happy, safe, and even has the arrival of the Great Spirit which could be seen as over the top for such a dark film, but the intended message is clear: she is the
One must consider another version of Snow White which is also in cinemas: Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures of Snow White, starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins. There is a stark difference between the two versions. Snow White and the Huntsman is dark, serious, and a good
action film whereas Mirror Mirror… is a good but easy film to watch. You could watch Mirror Mirror the once and not want to see it again, whereas Rupert Sanders’ version is one that keeps you talking about it once you’ve left the cinema, and possibly buy it when it is available to buy on DVD and
Bluray. Not to mention, the final scene of Mirror Mirror is confusing, unnecessary, and just stupid.
Many film critics have said that Snow White and the Huntsman is not worth the watch, but if you want two hours of action and a well made film, then why not?
Words: Faye Smith