Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the movies I go… Snow White and the Huntsman, a complete re-imagining of the timeless tale of a princess, an evil queen and a gaggle of dwarves. It’s a pretty risky move. I mean, we know this story, right? How could they possibly make it fresh? Exciting? Wow?
Much to my surprise, the theater was full of people wondering the same thing. Or there to see Charlize (weirdest name ever) Theron. Or maybe Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Or Bella (Kristen Stewart of sparklie vampire fame.)
And, oddly enough, the movie does a lot of things right. And one thing very, very wrong.
First the right things. The visual are, well, stunning. So stunning in fact that you could turn off the sound and just watch the eye-popping beauty (or the grim desolation) that is the world in which Snow White lives. From the mossy turtle to the dark things in the dark forest to the CGI’d castle set against the rising sun or the little faeires or the mirror-mirror creation, it’s nothing short of spectacular. They really kicked it up a notch.
Second, the evil queen, Charlize, is breathtakingly beautiful. No way Bella-the-vampire-lover is more fair. No freaking way. Not ever. The mirror is wrong, damnit, wrong! In fact, she is so gorgeous, that when she sucks the life out of young women to remain young and beautiful, I’m thinking, you know what, that’s ok with that. Kill them all, the result is worth it.
Plus, Charlize rocks the role. She brings life and a kind of likable psychosis to the part. Every good story needs a good villain and I think she’s created one here.
Third, the dwarves. I’m watching them on-screen and suddenly I think, wait, hold on, that old dwarf dude looks like Bob Hoskins. And that one looks like Ray freaking Winstone and bugger me if that motherf#&*ing c#&%sucker isn’t Ian McShane. Sure enough, they’ve CGI’d 7 fantastic British actors into dwarves! So cool. They nearly stole the movie.
Lastly, ok, I admit it, Snow White was pretty good. Not Charlize-Theron-good but I forgive young Kristen for her vampire silliness. Her and the Huntsman, that brooding Thor dude, are fine together. So fine, in fact, that when the prince comes on stage, I’m thinking, hey, bro, f&#off, you don’t belong here.
And therein lies the one MAJOR flaw, in my opinion. The romance of the film, light as it is, is between the Huntsman and Snow White. Hence the title. However, tt makes the prince completely irrelevant. And who gives the reviving kiss? Not the prince.
So, ok, fine. They why have a prince at all? And the end, does it have a happily-ever-after? Not romance-wise. The person I saw the movie actually shouted out, “are you kidding me?” and she was right. It needed that romantic ending. Villains have to lose, Snow Whites have to win, dwarves have to get their gold, and romantic leads have to hook up in the end.
Hey, I don’t make the rules.
However, as a movie, it works for me. It is a visually amazing envisioning of the classic story.
Peter Jackson would be proud.