Liz (lika_mikala) wrote,

Snow, Hot Guys, and Magic

I saw Snow White and the Huntsman late last month. I had read a review ahead of time that bemoaned Kristen Stewart's performance, which was less than shocking to me, but for the majority of the movie I was surprised that she wasn't that bad. I think the reviewer was exaggerating a bit, but unfortunately nothing could save Ms. Stewart from that horrendous pre-battle speech.

Part of it was the dialogue's fault. As far as I can remember, Snow White didn't call her subjects to defend their oppressed families, protect their livelihoods, or take revenge. She didn't offer any specific hope (that I can remember) or talk about what had changed that would make the rebels victorious this time when they'd only been slaughtered in the past. She said "I can kill her" which quite frankly was the best part of the speech, but most of the people she was speaking to wouldn't know that the queen's own beauty-magic is why Snow White could kill her when no one else could. I didn't figure it out myself until Snow ran the dagger through Ravenna and quoted the queen's own spell back to her. But it was the way that Stewart convulsed like she was having stomach pains whenever her voice rose to a hoarse shout that really killed it for me. Rather than standing tall and regal to show Snow White accepting her magical powers and inspiring her followers with her destiny as a leader, Stewart's performance seemed to beg the onlookers for a last-ditch effort to win back her long-dead father's throne. Instead of a queen, I saw a desperate young girl shouting at downtrodden people to help her. Not exactly inspirational. Which is why I went *facepalm* when she asked them for an answer and they roared with enthusiasm. I also thought it was a pity that the filmmakers didn't take advantage of the shock value that Snow had just come back from the dead. Instead, she just stepped out of the castle in her death garb and went into speech mode.

I spent most of the movie very confused. There was an extraordinary lack of dialogue where the queen dipped herself in white chocolate, surrounded herself with ravens, and various other magic tricks. To what purpose, I still have no idea. I got the part where she literally sucked the life out of young women, but the rest was foggy. What was up with the scene where peasants were really excited to taste the water coming down from the castle spouts? It was at the same time that Ravenna was about to wallow in white chocolate, and the water that the peasants were drinking looked kind of white, so I was thinking there might be some kind of connection, but I'm not sure. Ravenna's dialogue about the peasants being pathetic may have been totally unconnected from her magical bath.

Snow White's magical episodes were just as mysterious and dialogue free. I wasn't sure if Snow was just hallucinating in the Black Forest or if it was Queen Ravenna's magic, or something else entirely. Possibly the latter. There was a meet and greet with a magical white hart that left me baffled, and only the blind dwarf seemed to know what was going on, which he never explained except to say that Snow White is some magical goddess/savior and the Huntsman has eyes but can't see. I have eyes. I have ears, too, but I didn't get what the dwarf was talking about either. I digress.

Chris Hemsworth and Sam Claflin held their own as Snow White's loyal side-kicks. I could see the triangle forming from a mile away, but I couldn't help chuckling when one of my friends leaned over in the theater and whispered, "Apparently she always has two guys chasing her." That being said, it wasn't much of a triangle. Snow's test-the-waters kiss with William seemed natural enough, but was made part-awkward, part-awesome when William turned out to be a the queen in disguise with a poisoned apple. The awesome part was when I realized that faux-William had described a blissful childhood where he followed her everywhere and Snow said "That's not the way I remember it. We fought all the time." I had thought he was blinded by romantic nostalgia, so it was cool to discover that it was actually the queen's honest ignorance as faux-William.

I briefly wondered if the writers would shake things up a bit and ignore that the film is titled Snow White and the Huntsman. Then William knelt beside her corpse in the snow and I was like, "Oops, too soon. First one to try a kiss won't get the girl." And what do you know? Wiliam kissed her dead lips and nothing happened. I don't think I would have minded so much if it hadn't reminded so very strongly of Enchanted.

I rather liked Snow's funeral procession into the last free city. The grief wasn't just for her, but for hope lost, which was believable and relate-able. I'm not sure how I felt about Hemsworth's drunk speech to Snow's corpse. It was the most connection I felt between the two of them in the entire movie, which is just sad. The best part about the Huntsman's grief speech/kiss was that Hemsworth was able to milk it without needing to create a sizzle with Stewart. He walked out before she even woke up, which is why I think the scene actually worked. Snow and the Huntsman were decent as individuals, but they just didn't make me want to see them in each other's arms. Maybe the director knew it, too, because when she woke up, all of their heartfelt gazes were across very large expanses with lots of other people in between them. That being said, I thought the very last coronation scene was a terrible directorial choice. The camera pan out was excruciatingly slow and all of the characters were completely static. I kept on waiting for something to happen. Even having Queen Snow sit down/stand up would have been better than just standing there with everyone staring at her. *shrug*

One of my friends said she wasn't thrilled with the film at first, but that it grew on her to the point of wanting to see it again. It's been weeks now and I can't see myself trying it again anytime soon. Maybe I'll get it from the library someday and watch it with the FFwd button handy.
Tags: film: snow white and the huntsman, meta/review

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