A review by Nalini Haynes
Snow White and the Huntsman stars Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman. Charlize Theron is the wicked step-mother Ravenna while Sam Claflin is William, the prince equivalent in the original tale.
For those who’ve never read any fairytales at all ever: Snow White is the beautiful daughter of royalty. Her mother dies then her father remarries; the step-mother may or may not kill the king (this time she does) but she always takes over the kingdom, feeling threatened by Snow White’s growing beauty. It’s a generational conflict thing with the old generation refusing to step aside for the rightful heir.
This particular movie was dogged by scandal. Kristen Stewart had a boyfriend – Robert Pattinson – who is beloved of fans. Kristen and Robert’s relationship had a significant fan investment because they were ‘THE couple’ from Twilight. During the filming of Snow White, Kristen had an affair with the director Rupert Sanders. Fans were furious at Kristen who was blamed for the movie not being a stellar success. All the menz careers took off while Kristen, the young woman who succumbed to a Hollywood stereotype, suffered.
Let’s look at the movie.
Snow White and the Huntsman is trying REALLY HARD to be an epic fantasy, fulfilling ALL THE STORIES. There is a troll and a bridge. Snow is the ‘rightful heir’ whose rule – and thwarting thereof – are mystically linked to the health of the land, which is suffering. There is a prophecy. Symbolism. Epicness.
IT’S TRYING TOO HARD.
Although there are lots of actual dwarfs in Hollywood, Snow White’s execs decided to cast tall men as dwarfs instead of actual, y’know, short people.
There is some REALLY APPALLING acting and I’m not talking about Kristen Stewart.
One of the worst pieces of acting was from a dwarfish character: half the time when he talked he looked as if he was blind from cataracts or something and spoke in a monotone. Perhaps he was reading his lines from an autocue?
There is a romance (of course) and, in this particular movie, they cast the more fashionable actor – Chris Hemsworth – as the titular Huntsman, so you know that the important romance is going to be between Snow White and the Huntsman. Ta daa. See what the movie makers did there?
The problem is, there is no emotional payoff at the end of the movie. The romance is hinted at but not engaged with at any depth. There WAS a sequel planned to resolve this non-existent tension, but there just wasn’t enough substance to hook viewers in.
So everyone blamed Kristen Stewart.
And the sequel won’t be about Snow White. It’s called The Huntsman.
I’d give this movie 3 stars. It is not Kristen Stewart’s fault Snow White and the Huntsman doesn’t appeal to me: the poor writing overreaches itself, there’s poor casting, poor acting from the support cast and it fails to engage the audience with the romance.