Some Thoughts about ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’
Just got out of seeing Snow White and the Huntsman and felt compelled to share some of my thoughts. And I have a lot of thoughts — most of them, just to warn you, are about Chris Hemsworth, Chris Hemsworth’s baby blue eyes, Chris Hemsworth’s hair, Chris Hemsworth being shirtless, and Chris Hemsworth. But I have other thoughts as well, if I didn’t already lose you with all of that Chris Hemsworth talk. (And if I did, then good riddance to you anyway because HI WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.)
This should be obvious, but spoilers ahoy:
1: Charlize Theron is the Queen, yes: the Queen of Overacting. MY GOD. I have seen a lot of movies in my twenty-seven years, but I have never seen someone ham it up so much in my life. At least, when they were trying to be taken seriously. I’m not sure if all that scenery chewing was her idea or if she was spurred on by the director (perhaps a little of both), but almost every time she opened her mouth, it killed whatever scary, creepy vibe had been building up. And don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of freaky imagery in this movie, some of it downright terrifying, but if you’re going to have over the top images like that and an over the top evil baddie like the Queen, you need to get your actress to tone things the fuck down. She would have been so much more believable if she would have just stopped yelling for five seconds.
2: Kristen Stewart had terrible hair the entire movie, and it made me grumpy. I was grumpy enough as it was seeing a Kristen Stewart movie, but the lure of seeing the Snow White story brought to the screen in such a supposedly epic manner, and yes, Chris Hemsworth, got my butt in that seat. Even though I don’t usually like Kristen Stewart, I can always count on her to have awesome hair. Except this time no. I know they were trying to go for a “realistic” vibe or something, which basically meant being as dirty and foul as possible, but still. It was upsetting.
3: My second favorite part of the movie (after Chris Hemsworth) was seeing all these serious, big (like, physically big) actors like Ian McShane and Nick Frost with their heads stuck by special effects onto tiny little dwarf bodies. Worth the price of admission just for that.
4: Chris Hemsworth now officially occupies all five spots on my freebie list. Did I mention about how good he looks whilst dirty? And with long hair? And without a shirt on? And with a Scottish brogue?
5: Speaking of gorgeous, whatever other faults the film has, it was beautiful. Same goes for the music.
6: The movie was almost entirely devoid of humor. It took itself waaaaay too seriously, and that made all of its over the top drama seem even more over the top and ridiculous.
7: I’m famous for my ability to leap plotholes in a single bound, but this movie had far too many for me to even handle. Things happened because they needed to happen for the story to move forward, and they almost never felt organic. (Particularly where the Queen’s actions are concerned.)
8: One of the reasons I was genuinely excited about the movie was that it promised to turn the fairy-tale romance on its head, but it only kind of delivered. Just from the title, you know the key relationship in the movie is going to be between Miss White and the Huntsman sworn to kill her. He only wants to kill her for about five minutes in the movie, and from then on he swears to protect her, but the inspired part of this story and something I was excited for even though I predicted it, is that ultimately true love’s kiss wouldn’t come from the “prince” (who in the movie is a Duke’s son), but from the dirty (sexy), commoner huntsman. I can’t decide if it was brave or stupid storytelling to have her be unaware of precisely who and what has woken her up, but either way it was highly unsatisfying. I suppose they were also trying to be feminist and modern with that ending, where she’s crowned Queen and romance isn’t even an issue, but honestly? I didn’t sit for two and a half hours in that theater because of feminism. I sat in that theater for the promise of smoochies and happily ever after.
9: On a related note, the movie is called Snow White and the Huntsman, but it might as well have been called anything else for all the relationship development between those two. The Huntsman is changed by his encounter with Snow White, but it’s unclear exactly why, at least until he tells us himself right before he gives her true love’s kiss, but that’s just shitty storytelling — we should have been able to see it for ourselves if the filmmakers had done their jobs right. They barely speak to one another. If it’s because of her purity and beauty then I’m extra pissed because that’s totally not what feminism is about, and in that case WHERE ARE MY SMOOCHIES. But I’m pretty sure feminism isn’t to blame, just shoddy scriptwriting. There was so much STUFF stuffed into it that there was no room for anything but the smallest amount of character development, and all the action scenes were mostly missed opportunities that shed very little light on what was going on inside our two heroes.
Verdict: If you’re curious, wait for the DVD, folks. This is one that made promises it just couldn’t deliver, except for the parts with Chris Hemsworth, which were excellent.