Sunday, November 13, 2011

Snow White and the Huntsman

I heard about this film a few months back. Right around the time I heard about another Snow White film coming out at the same time. What is it about Snow White that fascinates us so much that we need to rehash the story over and over and over again? Sometimes even two or three times in one year.    

To be fair, no pun intended, I'm intrigued. The trailer looks very cool and it could be a wonderful film that is bad, but also utterly enjoyable. On the other hand, it could end up like Red Ridding Hood - a confused sexy-time fairy tale that really makes no sense and is going nowhere with its convoluted plot.

Charlize Theron looks absolutely bad-ass as the evil queen and I love her costume. She just oozes sexiness and evilness.

Chris Hemsworth is reprising his role as Thor. Just look at him, slightly arrogant and gruff attitude, an axe (not hammers, but close), a stubble and old-timey clothes.

Sam Claflin plays Prince Charmant. I feel like this guy is in it just to make the Huntsman look good. He was in Pirates of the Carabean: On Stranger Tides, which makes him the poor man's Orlando Bloom.

And now for White herself. I don't hate Kristen Stewart. She's not a brilliant actress, but she's not terrible either. She seems to be very good at doing angst. But when I look at her, I just don't see Snow White.

 And why does she have the White Tree of Gondor on her shield?

I am somewhat intrigued by this film and I will probably see it when it comes out, but what bothers me is an apparent lack of imagination of the Hollywood movie factory. Snow White has been done to death and, for all its boasting of a new 'twist,' this is not as revolutionary as they want us to think.

I love retellings of fairy tales. As old as these stories are, they are part of our (at least in the western world) common experience. In fact, I love Gail Carson Levine's retelling of the Snow White story called Fairest. It is interesting precisely because it deviates from the 'original' in so many ways - the evil queen is not all that evil and she is not old, Snow White is not a beauty and the Prince is fun and down-to-earth.

I don't mind seeing more fairy tale-inspired films in the future, but I want them to be more than hot and steamy Twilight ripoffs (looking at you, Red Riding Hood) or rehashing of old themes with a bit of 'empowerment' on the side. What if the evil queen has a good reason to kill Snow White? What if she is trying to save her people  from strife and war that the girl will inadvertently cause? What if Snow White is not at all the chosen one? What if she becomes the queen's nemesis by accident? And what of the dwarves? What are their stories? Where did they come from? What are they doing in that forest? So many tales left untold....

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