Snow White and the Huntsman: A New Twist on an Old Classic

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The much anticipated film Snow White and the Huntsman opened in theaters this past Friday, June 1st, and has already brought in over $56 million. The plot follows very closely to the story of Snow White that we all know and love, but if viewers are expecting a sweet fairytale then they are in for a surprise.

The movie is very dark and sinister in comparison to the classic Disney cartoon version, and you won’t find a sugary sweet rendition of “Someday My Prince Will Come” in this film. Queen Ravenna, played by Charlize Theron, is Snow White’s evil stepmother whose desire is to rule the kingdom and stay young and beautiful forever. The key to all of this is Snow White’s heart, which Ravenna must consume in order to gain immortality. In an effort to have the girl brought to her, the queen finds out that Snow White, played by Kristen Stewart, has escaped into the dark forest. Ravenna then hires the Huntsman, who is played by Chris Hemsworth, to find Snow White and bring her back, but instead he finds himself fighting against the Queen. What ensues next is a twisted story of adventure and chaos that sets this film apart from the average idea of Snow White.

Kristen Stewart’s Snow White is not the timid, fragile princess that is portrayed in other adaptations of the film; instead she is a strong willed individual who is forced to fight for what is rightfully hers. Stewart’s performance in this film is a lot stronger in comparison to the Twilight franchise that she is famous for. No painfully awkward Bella Swan moments here. Although she looked great in this film, I am still not sure how believable it was that her Snow White could be considered a threat to Charlize Theron’s beauty. In any case, Queen Ravenna was so brutal and her constant banshee-like shrieking made it easy to root for the good guys.

Theron was exceptional in this movie and her Queen Ravenna is easily the character that everyone loves to hate. As for Chris Hemsworth, he did all he could do with the character of the Huntsman, channeling his inner Thor as he waved his axe in the air and bravely fought off all danger. There was definitely a great back story to go along with the role, but for a title character I felt he was a bit overshadowed by everything else that was going on within this film. And what’s a Snow White adaptation without an appearance from the seven dwarves? These characters definitely provided much needed comic relief throughout the course of the movie.

What takes this film even further is the fact that it is visually stunning. The gorgeous setting and beautiful costumes were absolutely mesmerizing. The effects were well done, albeit lacking in some parts, but the terror of the dark forest contrasted with the dream-like serenity of the fairy sanctuary were very appealing to the eye. Even up until the end credits, as Florence + the Machine’s song “Breath of Life” played in the background, I was watching intently.

Rotten tomatoes gave this movie a 46% rotten rating claiming, “While it offers an appropriately dark take on the fairy tale that inspired it, Snow White and the Huntsman is undone by uneven acting, problematic pacing, and a confused script.” I for one thought it was a visually captivating film and enjoyed it for what it was: a fresh, new twist on a beloved, classic tale.

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