At Leakycon we don’t say “I love you” we say “WE’RE WIZARDS WE’LL PARTY FOREVER TURN AROUND BRIGHT EYES HARRY I’M COMING HOME I...
I have a request
related to a post I just saw about cashiers asking “Did you get everything you need today” or somesuch
my request is this: when...
When I saw the promotional stills and posters for Snow White and the Hunstman, I was cautiously optimistic. Given the recent trend towards strong female protagonists and princesses, I thought we were bound to get an awesome retelling of the fairy tale, with a sassy Snow White who kicks major ass. Unfortunately, this is far from the case; if you’re coming to Snow White and the Huntsman looking for an strong, empowered princess, you will be sorely disappointed.
This Snow White is no Mulan, Tangled’s Rapunzel, or the Snow White on ABC’s Once Upon a Time. She spends the vast majority of the movie running away from danger and being saved by besotted male characters. There are no fewer than four males who try to make a move on her after falling for her charms, but as a member of the audience, I wasn’t sure what these charms were supposed to be. Snow fights for herself a grand total of twice, and it is not until the last twenty or so minutes that Snow White does anything remotely badass, or wears the armor she’s shown in on the posters. We get more insight into the personalities of almost every other character than we do Snow White, as her actions and dialogue aren’t at all illustrative of her as a person. Without doing anything besides being the king’s daughter and being beautiful, she is hated by the queen and put on a pedestal as tall as Mt. Everest by everyone else we meet. In short, she’s a Mary Sue of epic proportions, and kind of a feminist nightmare.
Also, to what you’re probably wondering: Kristen Stewart is definitely passable in the role, and sometimes is even quite good. Her acting is several steps above anything she did in Twilight, and only managed to distract me a few times. (Also, I didn’t even notice a single case of lip biting, which is unprecedented.) Her British accent is patchy, but never noticeably laughable. Though she often comes off one-dimensional, I think it’s mostly the fault of the movie’s writing rather than Stewart’s portrayal.
Despite how much Snow bothered me, I didn’t hate the movie. It was visually stunning, especially in the Dark Forest, and the music was great. (In particular, the song “Gone” by Ionna Gika and the way it was used gave me chills.) I also thought the narrative style was lovely, especially at the beginning. The movie was extremely faithful to the original Snow White narrative, which felt uncreative to me but will probably be a plus for others.
Also, a couple of standout actors saved the film for me. Charlize Theron, who plays Snow White’s evil stepmother, really steals the show with some incredible acting, and the effect work on her and her birds is ridiculously well-done. She is delightfully creepy, and surprisingly, we get some idea of her back story and motivations, so her degeneration is upsetting to watch.
Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman, best-known as Thor in The Avengers, also does a brilliant job. He has a good story arc, he’s written well, and Hemsworth runs with the material. Watching him act is a delight.
Overall, the movie is a mixed bag. If you’re game for a beautiful, generally well-done adaptation of Snow White, you’ll love it. However, if you’re a feminist or looking for it to bring something new to the table, I would wait for the DVD.
Overall score: 3/5 nerds.