Today is a very good day for you. Why, you ask? Because I am about to fill this post with pretentious criticism for Snow White and the Huntsman. That’s right. Pretentious. Criticism.
Be warned if you have not seen Snow White and the Huntsman, because a) this post is going to spoil it for you big-time, and b) I’m pretty much gonna rip it to shreds. #pretentioushashtag
There were a great many things wrong with this film, the first of which being Kristin Stewart—to whom I will henceforth refer as “Bella” (à la Twilight), considering that is the only character she seems to be capable of playing. From her horrendous-yet-distinctly-comical accent to the single facial expression that evidently applies to every situation (see: ANGST), Bella’s performance was laughable in the way that makes you lose faith in every Hollywood casting director ever. When the magic mirror mystic man compared her to “life itself,” I half-expected him to start giggling hysterically, howling, “JK JK OH GOD YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN YOUR FACE OH GOD THAT WAS RICH.”
For an actress with the sort of quirky, awkward charm that drives a steak right into the soul of the art form, Bella does not seem to have entirely grasped the concept of “smiling.” If you enjoy 2 hours and 7 minutes of straight grimace, then you will love this film. Also, allow me to direct you to any one of the Twilight movies, The Runaways, Welcome to the Rileys, or… heck, here, have her IMDb page. The allure and magnetism that Snow White is supposed to possess is entirely lost on Bella, and halfway through the film, you might find yourself wondering (as I did), why anyone would risk his life to save this chick. For God’s sake, this is too much work. Just let her die.
The second thing wrong with this film is the writing. In the darkened theater I shared with literally seven other audience members, I spent the duration of the movie laughing at all the “serious” parts and waiting around for an entirely predictable ending. Dear screenwriters:
Your film did not know what the heck it wanted to be. It tried to be action, drama, fantasy, romance, and indie, and did not succeed at any of them. Also, the monologues were either too long or too short or too wordy or too “I see fire burning in your hearts and lights and fire and iron and fire and we are brethren and fire”-y. Next time around, you might try revision. I hear that works wonders for a draft. And if you are indignant and would like an example, I have two words for you: fairy forest. Once again:
It’s as if one of you said, “I have just had a brilliant notion! We should have a very long compilation of middle scenes in which nothing actually happens, but there are googly-eyed fairies riding on bunnies and popping out of ravens and frogs and also STAG.”
And then, it’s as if the director said, “Yes, that is a brilliant notion! Let’s not cut it out, because seriously, who even likes movies that actually make logical sense?”
Although it’s true that the special effects were quite lovely, the attempt at being whimsical after a whole sequence of fight scenes and screaming women was nothing short of sad.
Now, let us talk about the other characters. Firstly, how about that Nazi? Sam Spruell is supposed to play the brother of the evil queen, but the character might as well be the human embodiment of The Third Reich’s younger and slightly slower twin, ja. I do not know if the neck-kissing and the shoulder-fondling and the watching-of-the-sister-bathing-naked-in-milk were specified actions in the script, but I must say that incest is not among the few of my favorite things.
Sam Claflin (whose name is terrifyingly similar to mine), though fairly new to the Hollywood scene, came across as one with actual talent as William, Snow White’s friend-who-is-a-boy. And yet, the character was completely unnecessary and added clutter to an already-cluttered plot. The only purpose William served was to ***spoiler alert*** add the inevitable twist of Prince Charming’s kiss not actually working. Shock. Astonishment. Originality.
…nope, I don’t even want to talk about the singing dwarves.
Chris Hemsworth appeared as the ever-masculine, chauvinistic huntsman with a delightful Scottish accent. The only bad thing about this was that in almost every one of his scenes, he appeared alongside Bella, which served to both torment and make her look even worse by comparison. I don’t know what the director was thinking, because if I could have had the whole movie be the queen and the huntsman, I most definitely would have, because hello. Chemistry.
Which brings me to Her Majesty herself, the single redeeming quality of the film—Charlize Theron. Her performance was captivating, riveting, enticing, and other such adjectives, so much so that I almost forgave the casting director for the whole Bella thing. She handled her character with such grace and delicacy that it could not have possibly been due to the skill of the screenwriters. Theron was evil without being repellent, and out of reach while still being somewhat human. Thank you, Charlize, for your valiant attempt at saving this film.
However, the end of the movie was as depressing as it was predictable. ***spoiler alert*** The queen got served, and Bella looked up into the magic mirror for so long that I actually thought that she might have a breakthrough moment and start singing. But… no. Cut to a coronation. And Bella gets a crown, and dwarves start chanting, and everybody bows, and then it ends in a manner that probably made George Lucas a little jealous. If you would like to see the end of Snow White and the Huntsman, you need look no further than the end of Star Wars: A New Hope. Here, knock yourself out:
In retrospect, and for all of Theron’s efforts, this movie is still hardly worth watching. I personally was waiting for the twist at the end that would make us wonder if Bella would actually turn into an evil queen herself (why else would she stare into that mirror for so long?), but no cigar. Therefore, I dub thee pretty much god-awful, Snow White and the Huntsman. I will not revisit you, and I rather think that my time would have been better spent watching Once Upon a Time.