SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN
With Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Sam Spruell, Ian McShane, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones
Written by Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini (based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale)
Directed by Rupert Sanders
Twilight star Kristen Stewart comes up against South Africa's Oscar winning golden girl Charlize Theron, as the ultimate female fairytale adversaries. The Grimm Bros. classic fairytale has had its share of reinterpretations (including one with Sigourney Weaver in the late-'90s). This big budget rendition was placed in the hands of unknown first time director Rupert Sanders resulting in a rather spectacular outcome.
Snow White's mother died at her birth, and as soon as her father marries a beautiful captive, she takes over the kingdom and locks Snow White in the castle tower.
With magic and a bit of schizophrenic psychosis, the new queen is adamant to retain her beauty (hanging on to it at the cost of young women, almost, but not quite like Countess Bathory). The tale also dips into the psychology behind the queen's obsessive madness.
Years later the coming of age Snow White escapes and the queen recruits a huntsman via her subjugating brother to track her down, wanting the girl's heart to ensure her prolonged youth.
Stewart is her angsty Twilight self, while Theron seems to relish dipping into her dark side. Thor hits the fairytale world as Hemsworth (the star of that popular superhero character) adds to the gritty feel of this reinvention. I was wondering if the seven dwarfs would be omitted in the embellishing of the original story, but true to the main elements (which also includes the speaking mirror and the deadly apple) a gang of highly accomplished British character actors make up the band of vertically challenged little people (with the help of some effective digital squashing).
The fairytale world created by the production designers and digital artists is top-notch and one of the more believable of late, with some vast contrasts of the dark forest and the fairy domain wonderfully depicted.
Proof that a good story can always be retold (and after this and the Red Riding Hood update, we should probably expect some more to flow from the Hollywood machine, including a sequel to this one).
4 / B
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished