This year we have had the chance to see two adaptations of the classic fairytale about Snow White: the first one being Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror, starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins. However, director Rupert Saunders offers us a very different approach to the adventures of the girl, who is fairest of them all, in his first feature film Snow White and the Huntsman.
One of the most distinguishable characteristics of this version of Snow White is its much darker and ominous visual style, stemming from the script itself; one of the most wanted screenplays in Hollywood in 2010. There are no songs, no colourful gowns and no balls, as if the film is deliberately avoiding the predetermined idea of child-friendly representations of the tale. Nevertheless, the magic and imagination are still there, this time placing emphasis on the motives and envy of the evil queen, who is given a name: Ravenna.
…these actors’ performances contribute to the haunting quality of the film…
Another major trait of the film is its star power. Starting from Kristen Stewart as the protagonist to Chris Hemsworth as the brooding Huntsman to Charlize Theron as RavenNa, all these actors’ performances contribute to the haunting quality of the film. Theron is chilling, with her cloak of raven feathers and cold but waning beauty, more terrifying than other representations of the character. The Huntsman is not much different from Thor, except for his moodiness, caused by the memory of his late wife. However, Kristen Stewart’s Snow fails to come out of Bella Swan’s skin. She definitely fits in the tortured landscape of the forest, governed by dark magic, but once the rest of the characters turn up on the screen, she seems to disappear among them, therefore undermining Snow’s importance for the story. Interestingly, the roles of the dwarves are boiled down to a simple star presence, serving to support the main characters, providing a collection of entertaining faces, among whom Nick Frost, Ian McShane, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Ray Winstone and Bob Hoskins.
On the overall, Snow White and the Huntsman presents its audience with an interesting adaptation of the traditional story, paying attention to characters, who are not usually noticed or even mentioned, like Finn (Sam Spruell), the brother of Ravenna. The film’s amazing special effects contribute to its horror-like magical quality, becoming an essential part of the story. The promise for more lingers as the film comes to an end, as though intentionally leaving the audience waiting for more.