Saturday, June 16, 2012
Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsmen
I've mentioned that Fairy Tales and Fantasy are definitely the name of the game right now, even though I am still writing the last 1/3 of Moon Dance's second draft. So it's probably not surprising that when I had the opportunity to go and see Snow White and the Huntsmen, I jumped at the opportunity. The trailers looked pretty cool and the idea of Snow White actually growing a spine is a pretty intriguing concept. So, are you ready to find out whether I thought Snow should've let the apple do its thing? Read on and find out!
There were a lot of chances taken in this movie. Little things that really separated it from the traditional version of the tale, or that went into depth on how and why certain things might be the way they are. I particularly liked the way that the Queen's beauty, Snow's beauty and the Queen's magic were all tied together. The Huntsmen's past was also well done, providing the viewer with reasons to sympathize with him even though his character wasn't naturally sympathetic from the get-go and later enriching what was going on with him and Snow.
I also really enjoyed the fact that Snow did actually have to do some difficult stuff -- both placing herself in actual danger and dealing with things emotionally that were not easy. I also liked the fact that the film took the liberties it did with the Dwarves. They were definitely a very different bunch then what Disney will have viewers expecting and they fit the tone of the movie perfectly.
I have two things I want to say here. The first is that I love how many things were turned on their head in the character department for this film. Snow White in chain mail? A very different ending to the love story? Dwarves with attitude? An evil Queen with a pretty interesting bit of lore behind her magic? In these ways, the film was great and had no trouble holding my interest.
But there was a real and serious problem. I really didn't feel like I connected with these characters, despite how interesting their construction was. Snow White might have worn chain mail, but I didn't find it thrilling or impressive or (really) even believable. Honestly? I thought her finest moment was facing down the troll. The whole idea of there being a love triangle between Snow, her childhood friend, and the Huntsmen was original, but I really didn't feel sparks or see fireworks that had me caring one way or another.
In short: My eyes were amazed. But my heart, the part of me that latches onto a story and runs with it, pulling me in, just wasn't there. Which was really a shame, because I wanted to feel like I was inside the movie, not just looking at it.
I think that the way things happened with regard to the apple were interesting and unique. But I really didn't feel there was a legitimate lead up to this crucial moment, nor did I feel there was really a solid conclusion. It could just be that the romantic in me wanted a little "more" on both accounts, and I do realize that was not the focus of the film, but I just couldn't get behind it. A crying shame, because the idea itself was original and interesting and could have been great with slightly different execution.
It probably sounds like I am coming down pretty hard on Snow White and the Huntsmen. But in part, it may be because its a movie and not a book. I don't watch a lot of movies, so I often am left with that feeling of wanting 'more' from them then what they can realistically give me. Did I enjoy the movie? Yes. Should you go and see it? Sure. It has lots of action, beautiful special effects and some great ideas to reinvent a classic tale. I just wish it had dug a little deeper because what they *did* unearth was so great.