Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
D: Rupert Sanders
S: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin
Hate her as much as you want, but Kristen Stewart is actually a pretty lady. Is she prettier than Charlize Theron? I say no, but that can be debated. In the world of Rupert Sanders’s Snow White and the Huntsman, Theron’s beauty pales in comparison to Stewart’s, thus making it more obvious that it’s a world of make-believe, a world where everything is possible, and a world where a series of deus ex machina devices can be haphazardly put together and passed off as a great and magical adventure. It isn’t.
Watching Stewart as Snow White tests the limits of one’s patience and concentration. In the movie, Snow White is described as a pure and strong-willed fair lady with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony. Stewart barely embodies any of those traits. Her Snow White looks anemic and is prone to frequent hair touching. Her eyes are almost always blank. They get even blanker in moments of intense emotion that are punctuated by a variation of gasps. Stewart is channeling Bella Swan, this time in a Colleen Atwood gown.
Having a dud playing Snow White, one could still hope for a good adventure. Sadly, that, too, leads to disappointment. Snow White and the Huntsman is too complex for its own good. It has several elements that could have turned it into a great epic, but hurried storytelling eventually causes the movie’s demise. If Sanders or any of the film’s three writers had taken time to let the viewers get accustomed to the characters Snow White meets and all the locations she goes to, then they could have had something memorable. The production values and bit players, though terrific, are easily forgotten.
And then we have Theron. She overplays the evil queen with a tragic backstory that is also half-baked. Though the writers give her a reason to be wicked and powerful, the reason for her unquenchable hate isn’t fully justified. This makes me believe that the queen is mad. And madness does play a big part in Theron’s acting. She embodies it while carrying Stewart’s slack.
As for the love story, not much can be said about it. Stewart has no chemistry whatsoever with her two leading men. Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman and Sam Claflin as her now grown-up childhood friend William only serve as walking beefcakes accompanying Snow White in her quest. Stewart has more chemistry with the movie’s bridge troll than with both of those guys combined.
All in all, though Mirror Mirror had its faults, it ends up becoming the fairer Snow White flick this year.