Review: 'Hunstman' shows Snow White's dark side

By Shawn O'Neill

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, June 1 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

This film image released by Universal Pictures shows actress Kristen Stewart in a scene from "Snow White and the Huntsman." (AP Photo/Universal Pictures)

Universal Pictures, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Related article: Doug's take: Fairy tale more of a horror tale

Related article: Fast-paced 'Snow White and the Huntsman' pretty but dark

The Grimm fairytales are a valuable source for adaptations around the world. Disney has used these stories many times to make films. This year two studios have brought the story of Snow White to the screen. So far no one has stayed true to the Grimm tale, which is not a huge surprise. The film would be very short.

Earlier this year, the film “Mirror Mirror” brought a fantasy tone to the story. This week the second movie comes to theaters, “Snow White and the Huntsman.” You can’t help but compare the two films since the source material is identical. Each film has the Snow White character in it, but each has a much different take on the story.

“Mirror Mirror” took a sweeter approach to the tale, while “Huntsman” is a much darker story with a lot more intensity.

This "Hunstman" version of the Snow White tale starts as the Grimm yarn does with the Queen wishing her daughter will be fair and white as snow and with lips red as blood and hair black as ebony. She gets her wish but dies soon after her child is born. The King remarries to Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and the new Queen takes over the kingdom. In the film she locks up Snow White (Kristen Stewart) in a tower and sets about to retain her beauty and power in any way possible.

The Queen is told by her mirror that she needs the heart of Snow White to remain young and beautiful forever. She sends her brother Finn (Sam Spruell) to get her, but Snow White escapes instead. The Queen is furious and decides to send a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) out to the dark forest to find her. He does but then realizes he needs to protect her rather than send her back with Finn.

“Huntsman” does take liberties with the original tale, but what filmmaker hasn’t changed these stories to suit his needs? Of course that doesn’t mean the film is bad. In fact, this film is quite interesting. Kristen Stewart does a better job of acting in this film than she does in the Twilight series. Charlize Theron though is wonderful as the evil queen, even to the point of almost feeling sorry for the character and her problems. This Queen though has no problem getting her way and proves it anytime anyone stands in her way.

It does take a little long to get to the dwarfs in the film. They are presented very well with some clever camera angles, and seasoned actors take on the roles. Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins are two of the seven and each voice actor does a fantastic job.

This film is dark. There are moments that are intense, with characters hallucinating that creepy crawly things are coming for them in the forest and a monster that must be fought. Then there is the violence. You’ll see some intense sequences, including deaths, with much hand-to hand-fighting and a few stabbings. There is some blood in this film plus some bloody animal-body parts. As for sensuality, the Queen gets into what looks like a tub of milk, though nothing but her bare back is shown.

“Snow White and the Huntsman” can feel long in places but the story does move along well. The special effects are done very well, especially those involving the Queen. The film does have an epic tone to it with the final ride to the castle, which looks wonderful. There is a lot of action and also a love story mixed in, so many people will be satisfied by this film. Despite the film straying from the original fairytale, it is still an enjoyable movie that many will go to see.

Related article: Doug's take: Fairy tale more of a horror tale

Related article: Fast-paced 'Snow White and the Huntsman' pretty but dark

Shawn O'Neill is the Family Man Movie Reviewer on BYU Radio. His reviews can be heard on BYURadio.org and on SiriusXM Channel 143.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS