First time director Rupert Sanders does pretty well when you think of the scale of this film. Visually, it is stunning. The set design and the look of the film are awesome. The costumes are elaborate and realistic. The creature effects are cool (the wood fay and the troll are very sweet!). The mythology is solid and interesting (I wanted more mythology–it would’ve given the narrative more depth). With all that, Sanders is able to create a believable universe and that can be difficult to do with this kind of material.
I especially loved the effects surrounding the evil queen–actually, I loved everything about the evil queen. Charlize Theron is fantastic! Truly evil. That level of evil is usually toned down, but here Theron revels in it. She is even able to bring a shimmer of vulnerability and sadness to her role and that stands as a testament to her talent.
Chris Hemsworth continues his rise and does well as the Huntsman. He is charismatic and you want to cheer for him. (Hemsworth has the ever mysterious “it”–whatever “it” is–he has it.) Sad, brave, strong and heroic, the Huntsman is the character I wish I knew more about.
The seven dwarfs are also a treat. They were able to assemble some fine actors (Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Bob Hoskins, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones and Johnny Harris) to portray these characters, but again–I wanted more.
I wanted more…seems to be the issue here. This movie felt like the outline of a greater story that needed to be told. There are so many opportunities to deepen the narrative that are never taken advantage of. I would have loved to see more of the evil queen’s origins. I would have loved to see the Huntsman’s self-destructive spiral, so I could appreciate his heroic turn.
And this leads me to the biggest problem…Kristen Stewart‘s Snow White. Stewart is unable to infuse Snow White with…anything. She is too wooden (the female Keanu Reeves :D). All her emotions seem to be the same. Fear? Love? Wonder? Pain? All of them–indistinguishable.
Even with the rich mythology–Snow does little more than stumble around and look towards the horizon/woods/castle/etc…expectantly? (If that is what the expression is supposed to be.) I am not sure if her lack of talent forced this boring characterization, but it weakens the film. Stewart pales in comparison to ALL her co-stars–maybe it should have been called The Evil Queen and the Huntsman.
I can only imagine how much I would have loved it, if it had a bit more substance and a stronger Snow White. It could have been a fantasy classic. Could have. Now I hear there is a sequel in the works and I can only hope that Miss Stewart is busy doing something else. Fingers crossed.
- Movie Review: Snow White & the Huntsman (klacenklaiart.wordpress.com)