- Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth
- Special Effects
- Plot Resolution
Producer(s): Laurie Boccaccio, Gloria S. Borders, Sarah Bradshaw, Helen Hayden, Sam Mercer, Palek Patel, Joe Roth
Writer(s): Evan Daughetry, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini
Actors: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron
Cinematography: Greig Fraser
Music: James Newton Howard
Editing: Conrad Buff IV, Neil Smith
I‘m sure everyone knows the story about Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and knows Snow White as Disney portrayed her. Director Rupert Sanders took the darker route, with a closer adaptation of the Grimm’s tale it is based off of. We are given the backstory on how the Evil Queen, Ravenna (Charlize Theron), comes to power and then we flash forward to Snow White’s (Kristen Stewart) 18th birthday. Ravenna wants Snow White’s beating heart, and when her plan goes awry she hires the most skilled Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) in the land to find her. The Huntsman finds the deal to be no good, and chooses to help Snow White regain order in her father’s kingdom. Meeting a slew of fun people along the way we are taken on a great adventure through forests, caves, and imagination.
Chris Hemsworth is so hot. Am I allowed to say that? Oh well, I am. He’s an extremely convincing tracker, and his cool charm easily stole my heart. Playing the tough guy at first, then warming up to Kristen Stewart’s sweet demeanor and her physical effect on the surroundings, he decides to protect her from the Queen and take her to the castle of an ally, the Duke. They have much better on screen chemistry than Stewart has had with previous co-stars, and she was much less awkward than I’ve seen her. I was hesitant including her in the good because she still was doing Bella things, and I couldn’t take her seriously. She often leads with her chin and holds open her mouth, and I caught her just staring off into space and not connecting with the other actors in the scene. But she was incredibly improved, and she looked amazing the entire time. Hemsworth delivered a wonderful performance, and I think he actually made me enjoy the movie more. Their job was made less challenging with a wonderful cast of secondary characters. I loved the dwarves who were perfectly grumpy but still charming in their own way. They helped the plot along in a funny and quirky manner. With a few surprising faces thrown in, Sanders kept us on our toes. Nick Frost makes a hilarious appearance as one of the dwarves.
Special Effects and The Dark Forest
The effects were phenomenal, from crazy oil slicks, to weird gases that induced visions that made the trees come to life, to the bats that attack our heroine. The Queen, and everything that happens with her, is extremely detailed and intricate. She has a lot of oil and black feather imagery, and it is all so beautifully done. Mirror, Mirror, off the wall. Sanders created a beautiful new look for the Mirror It drips down the wall like liquid gold and reforms in the shape of a human figure underneath a sheet of the melted ore, which was visually stunning. The Black Forest is one of my favorite parts, although a couple of the obstacles they encounter remind me a lot of the Fire Swamp in The Princess Bride. In a cool, but creepy and spider-like manner, the trees come alive and would’ve made me want to turn around. Much more gory than I was expecting, this movie had a Tim Burton-like feel to it, that would’ve made Johnny Depp proud.
Colleen Atwood was the lead costume designer, and I was excited to see her work in this after seeing her costumes in Dark Shadows. She did not disappoint, and created a beautiful wardrobe that was very true to the time period that Snow White is speculated to have been set. The Queen’s beautifully ornate dresses were to die for, fitting so well that it was like the material was a part of her. Her wardrobe was glittery and slinky in the beginning of the movie, and slowly as the plot progresses her costumes becomes darker and more angular. The rigid lines of her shoulders and her high collars oozed with regality, and she would have easily scared me. Stewart is in the same dress for the majority of the film, but it’s a damn good dress.
James Newton Howard put together a delightfully dramatic score that held its own amongst the screen action and set a wonderful tone throughout the movie. It balances the whimsical feeling of fairy tales perfectly with the dark overtones that are involved with a grown woman trying to kill an innocent young girl. The Florence + The Machine’s song, “Breath of Life”, was saved for the credits. I felt that it fit perfectly as the only track with a recognizable voice and the makings of it became somewhat of a theme song for the film. Check out our review of the soundtrack here.
Well, without ruining anything, I was a little more than upset with how the movie ended. There was so much epic, awesome buildup and it just kind of faltered and haphazardly ended the movie. Many things could have been enhanced, such as the entire final fight scene which did not live up to previous fight scenes in the movie. While they ended most of the storyline, there were a few strings left untied and I, along with the others who saw it with me, believe they could have done much more with what they had set up. You are left with a few questions, and while it would be lovely to think they are going to have a sequel I seriously doubt that it will happen. And for anyone who thought Charlize Theron was overacting, shame on you. She created a very believable power hungry woman, who would do anything if it meant she could be ensured her everlasting beauty and reign over the kingdom. I would have appreciated a more intense battle between her and Stewart at the end. Her final scene left somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth, but she was brilliant throughout the entire movie up to that point.
Overall Score: 4 out of 5
I would suggest seeing this to anyone who has ever heard a fairy tale. While the ending may ruin it for some people, I find that the rest of the movie is enough to carry the shortcomings of the lackluster finale. With a wonderful assortment of mythical creatures, beautiful scenery, and special effects that would have made Spielberg happy, I think this movie will impress some pretty tough critics.