Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

Since I went out and watched the Huntsman: Winter’s War on Thursday night, I thought it would be only fitting to watch Snow White and the Huntsman last night.

This is a movie that hasn’t really come up in conversation much, and when it does, it’s usually prefaced by a discussion about Kristen Stewart as an actress. For years, I listened to other people’s opinions and I didn’t even give movies with Kristen Stewart a chance. Then, I found a movie called Camp X-Ray where Kristen Stewart plays a young Private First Class who is recently assigned to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This was the first movie I watched with Kristen Stewart and I thought she played the role of a young and stoic soldier working to figure out the “right” thing to do very well. I’ve also been through a lot in my personal life in the last several years and I have a greater respect for people and more of a willingness to not judge people based on other people’s perceptions or reactions. I’ve also become a lot more accepting and understanding of other people’s circumstances and there’s a lot about Kristen Stewart that I didn’t know or appreciate. She really hasn’t been in that many well-known movies and judging her based on the Twilight series, which I do not believe are valid judgment criteria, might be a disservice.

“Queen Ravenna, who seized control of her kingdom by marrying and killing its rightful ruler, needs the life force of young maidens to maintain her beauty. However, to become truly immortal, Ravenna must consume the heart of her stepdaughter Snow White. Snow White escapes, and Ravenna dispatches a huntsman to capture her.”

So when I watched Snow White and the Huntsman last night, I actually enjoyed the movie and I honestly think that people dislike this movie because of imposed bias. The world-building was imaginative and heart-felt. None of the fairytale creatures looked the way they are typically assigned, with the troll turning out to be something rather beautiful instead of some sort of monster and the dark forest being super trippy. The dark forest could have been real exactly as it was or it could have all been some sort of neurological poison in the air which caused hallucinations. A lot of the differences in the movie aren’t discussed, but rather accepted and I appreciated that part of the world-building. Early in the movie, I thought the birds were kind of weird and Disney cartoon-ish, but then you find out that the birds are transportation for some helpful people and it makes a lot more sense. There are so many fascinating creatures in this movie that simply exist and accepted, which really helped with the world-building for me and made the setting believable and realistic. The movie was a very different and new look at the typical Snow White story and I thought it was done very well.

Having just watched the Huntsman: Winter’s War the night prior, I was adamantly hoping that there wouldn’t be a love story between Eric the Huntsman and Snow White and I was not disappointed. Snow White and William definitely had feelings for each other and in the Huntsman: Winter’s War, William and Snow White are married and rulers of the kingdom, which is exactly how that story should go. The case could be argued that the Huntsman did have feelings for Snow White, but I think the opposite could be argued. The huntsman in this movie has a very substantial drinking problem and the introduction of this character in the movie is when he’s kicked out of a bar because he wasn’t paying for his booze. There’s then a brawl in the very muddy streets and he doesn’t do very well in this fight. He is then conscripted to help the Queen’s men to track Snow White in the dark forest. Yes, the Huntsman kissed Snow White exactly once and the argument could be made based on the fairy tale that it was true love’s kiss that awoke her from the enchanted slumber, but what if it was just a matter of timing and desperation? What if it just took Snow White’s body a little bit of time to get the poison out of her system and then she needed some or any sort of physical interaction in order to provide her body with a wake-up call?

I don’t think the Huntsman had any feelings for Snow White in this movie. I think that he believed that she had the ability to unite the people and overthrow the wicked queen. The Huntsman was tired of living in a world without hope where the land was dying and Snow White had the capability of destroying the wicked queen and bringing life back to the land. That’s a goal worth fighting for and a worthy goal to achieve, so of course it would matter to him as a person living in that area to want life made better.

I also liked how devoted William was to Snow White, which is made evident in his actions as soon as he knows she’s alive and that Ravenna is searching for her. He joins the Queen’s riders just so he can go with them to find her. He’s great with a bow and he stands by Snow White’s side, willing to protect her, but also willing to accept her as she is. Snow White forgives him for leaving when they were children, but that’s also the nature of that character – to be forgiving and try to help as much as possible.

Overall, I’d say this movie is probably a low three on my rating scale. I did enjoy it, but it’s not a movie I feel I could watch again right at this second. I think that I’ll buy it, assuming I can get Snow White and the Huntsman in a dual-pack with the Huntsman: Winter’s War.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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