1 June 2012 | workingclasshero
Modern take on a classic story, great but not perfect.
All in all a very impressing take on this well known fairy tale.
It's particular strong side is the visuals and the music. There are some stretches in the film where hardly anything is said, only images of the land and the haunting background music deliver the atmosphere and make everything seem very real. The FX match those of LoTR and Avatar, but they never get in the way of the experience, they only serve as a means to create the world the story plays in.
The acting was hardly less impressive. Especially Charlize Theron makes this movie one to remember for a long time. Never ever have I seen a more frightening, more convincing evil queen. She managed to show a complete being, not just a cliché from a fairy tale. She embodies the queen with all her desires, her motives, her strengths and her weaknesses. Theron even manages to make you care for her, because you can see her as just a human being with a *lot* of issues. Despite the fact that Theron made everyone else look a bit pale in comparison, they delivered their characters as good as the story allowed them too. Some were given too little time to develop, like the dwarfs and the huntsman.
I think a very modern aspect of the movie is that it emphasized the two strong female characters, and generally made woman run the whole show. Men on the other hand were only there to follow the lead of either Snow White or the Evil Queen. Of course this is part of the original tale, but as the recent "Mirror Mirror" showed it is not mandatory that this aspect is shown as the main theme of the story.
Another thing I like very much about this take on the story is that the characters motives are understandable. It's not just "this happens and then that happens and then another thing", as is the sad case with most Hollywood movies today. The story unfolds on its own, you can feel the driving force of the events, one thing actually leads to another and most of the time it makes sense why people do what the do or say what they say.
The only weaknesses I can find in Snow White and the Huntsman is that despite its considerable length, it feels at times rushed and incomplete, while other scenes (especially the "emotional speeches") just feel stretched unnecessarily. The story could have easily filled two 2h-movies. Important characters are introduced and immediately play their part, without much development or getting-to-know-time. The ending left me (and my girlfriend) a bit unsatisfied. All the build-up ends rather quickly and left us wondering about many things. But this is criticizing on a high level.
This is one of the best movies I've seen in a very long time. It's amazing what good screen writing, a none-clichéd music score and a few good actors can accomplish with a plot as well known as this one.