Monday, October 8, 2012

Snow White and The Huntsman

     So...I don't know what was up with the whole Snow White obsession this year. Mirror Mirror came out in the spring and it was really cute and then then I was really interested in this more 'adult version' of Snow White. It was different to say the least. As a matter of fact this could have been a great stand alone story in itself instead of just making it 'another Snow White movie.'

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Princess Snow White
     I was actually quite surprised when I found out that Kristen Stewart had been cast as the beloved fairy-tale princess, but then again, this movie is anything but I fairy-tale. She did a good job at it, but she is no Lily Collins.

     The one complaint that people have always had with her, and I agree, is that she is so wooden in her performances. If she had been cast as Snow White for Mirror, Mirror, then that would have been a joke, but Kristen's often times steely exterior worked for the dark portrayal of this film.
     Snow White in this is not a singing dancing princess. She's been in prison since she was ten years old (by her step-mother of all people), she then escapes, runs into a rugged huntsman, and that's pretty much when her story begins. Snow finds out that along with being a princess, she must become a leader. Leadership comes through compassion as well as courage and Kristen Stewart did a decent job at pulling that off.

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     This is basically Thor, just with an ax not a hammer. In all seriousness though, Chris Hemmsworth did a good job at this role (he was the only reason I went and saw the movie anyway). We never know the Huntsman name, so he's just known by his occupational name.

     Huntsman is a widower, who has some major drinking and anger problems, and is sent out to find Snow when she runs away. When he finds her in the forest, he never bothers to ask her name and so he just assumes that she is just a lost girl. He teaches her how to fight and defend herself and also manages tough negotiations with the dwarves.

     Throughout the course of the film, we get to see Huntsman's cold and cautious nature break down. Burdened by the guilt of his late wife's death, he has cut (no pun intended) everyone out of his life. He wants no one around him, until Snow comes. I wouldn't exactly say it was her sweetness that changed him, but more or less her will to survive and her passion to save her people.

     The most emotional scene is when he tells an unconsciousness Snow (who is supposedly dead) about how he has lived his life blaming himself for the loss of his wife. All was also hard to except the fact that he was crying (yeah, watching Chris Hemsworth cry is really heartbreaking) over Kristen Stewart of all people, but all things considered he came out of it by breaking the spell and becoming Snow's (very unlikely) true love.

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Queen Ravena
     Creepy, evil, awful, terrible queen!!! Queen Ravena was about the best evil step-mother queen this story has ever had! Charlize Theron was beautiful and played this role with complete ease and grace. What they did so well with this character was they really went into Ravena's background and discover why she is the way that she is.

     When the king finds Ravena as a prisoner in an enemy camp, he falls immediately in love and marries her the next day. All according to Ravena's plan to take over the kingdom. She then kills the king, puts Snow in prison, and rules the people with a terrible will.

    Ravena's ability stay beautiful is by sucking the youth out of younger woman (which is what happened to Huntman's wife), a morbid and horrific way to do things, but unique at the same time. The best thing about the character is that we get to see how Ravena came to evil and why she is compelled to do what she does. Most of the time you just want to take a knife and stab her in the back and then there are rare moments where you do really pity her.

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Prince William
     At first I was confused as to where William fit into all this. He's Snow's childhood friend and when Ravena's forces take over, he and his father flee to the forest. Now by that point I thought that William was going to become the Huntsman and it would be this whole deal of childhood friends reuniting and falling in love. Not so in this case. William and Huntsman are two very different men, with very similar values.

     When we meet William again, he's a feisty and headstrong soldier who is ready to take Ravena down and restore Snow back to her throne. He and Snow find one another in this whole tangled mess and there's an instant love renewal between them...except Snow keeps looking behind her shoulder to that shifty Huntsman.

     You could immediately make the conclusion that William is going to be a jealous and over-bearing prince who wants Snow to himself, but he is completely opposite of all that. He's everything you would think Snow White's prince to be, loyal, courageous, and honorable, but in the end only one man can be Snow White's true love.
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Huntsman and the dwarfs
     And what's Snow White without the seven merry dwarfs? Ok, these guys are far from merry, but they are definitely the comic relief of the whole movie. Their storyline in this isn't too different from Mirror, Mirror. They're basically thieves and bandits who have been forced to live in the deep forest and will kill (or at least terrify) anyone who comes near their territory. Through Snow's compassion, Huntsman trust, and William's loyalty, they become great assets to bringing Snow back to her throne.

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     An interesting movie, a bit gory, with intense action, and some fabulous costumes. It was probably the most different take on fairy-tale story that I've seen yet, but sometimes different and new can be a bit of a relief, because who really wants to see the same story over and over again?

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