I have been excited to see this movie since I first heard about it last year. I watched (and rewatched) the trailers eagerly, anticipating the contemporary version of a wonderful fairy tale. I watched interviews with the actors, who discussed the film and whetted my appetite even more.
The actual movie was, overall, entertaining. I was disappointed by many things, however, which to be fair may be in part due to the difficulty in any movie to achieve the hopes I had for this one, but not entirely. Nope, not entirely at all.
In the past, I have kept an open mind about Kristen Stewart's acting. I heard others make fun of her, but I was willing to accept her tremulous voice and trembling lips as character traits. I saw interviews where she talked about the strong, modern female character of Snow White and I hoped that she would give the character courage and intelligence. I think she tried, but she doesn't have the emotional range as an actor to fulfill the role in this case. There was one scene in particular that made me want to knock her off her horse.
The Huntsman and Snow White are set up as the main love interest, although this isn't entirely clear until about 3/4 of the way through the movie. Still, you can see some chemistry between them, which is due entirely to Chris Hemsworth. He plays the Huntsman, and was the best actor of the entire movie. Not just because he's incredibly attractive, but his acting pulled the movie through. I don't know how he was able to create the chemistry that managed to survive Kristen Stewart's acting, but he did.
A great example of the way "Snow White" could kill the moment is when the Huntsman looks at Snow White, and tells her that she "looks fetching in armor" (or something very similar). He smiles at her charmingly and any normal woman would at least smile back. Not Snow White. She stares at him, almost blankly but with the slightest look of... disapproval? The Huntsman seems to shrug and remains near her, getting ready to fight beside her against the Evil Queen. There was no warmth in Snow White's eyes at all. As Tyra Banks would say, she needs to "smi-eyes" (smile with her eyes). She could have at least pretended Robert Pattinson was there, and did her patented smile/grimace.
Moving on, I wish they would have explained more in the script. There were too many scenes of Kristen Stewart's face looking pale but with rosy lips- I get it, she follows the Snow White archetype, let's get to more important things.
- Snow White travels through three different forests, two of which are enchanted. The first is "evil" and the second is hosted by fairies, so it's "good." The evil forest does not hurt her, and she evens gets a huge, knight-eating troll to leave her and the Huntsman alone just by standing in front of it looking delicate. You see a bat winged humanoid attached to a tree as well, but none of these creatures ever resurfaces after she leaves that forest. I kept hoping that they would follow the saintly Snow White into battle against the Queen, but they don't. I think the scene of Snow White vs. Troll was meant to show her purity... again.
- In the fairy forest, you see Snow White wake up on a fawnskin blanket. Now, this forest is incredibly green and full of cheerful life, but they have SW wake up on a dead baby deer skin. Um, to show her innocence more, and how she is like a fawn? You can see the white spots on a chestnut back ground of the fur, complete with white belly fur on the edges. Wouldn't it have been more in character for the moss to thicken magically under SW, and for her to awaken cuddling the cute forest animals?
- In another scene, peasants are scrambling to drink a thick white liquid which is pouring out of a pipe from Queen Ravenna's castle. I assume it is some sort of food source, but then the scene changes to show the Queen taking a bath in what appears to be the same liquid. What is the liquid?! It looks to be a similar consistency to paint: Who bathes in stuff like this?
- There is some sort of magical connection between Ravenna and her creepy brother, but you never know more than that. She is able to heal her brother from afar, which keeps him young, too. How? Why? There is a small segment where Ravenna's mother casts a spell on her to keep her forever young and beautiful, as long as she regularly sucks the life out of other beautiful women. It appeared that the village they were living in was being attacked by men, so now Ravenna hates men (except for her brother) and uses her powers of beauty to seduce and then kill kings, making her the Queen of the kingdom. But what does her brother have to do with that- he didn't appear to be part of the spell at all.
Snow White and the Huntsman is worth seeing, but it's not as great as the previews make it look.