Snow White and the Huntsman is the most stunning-looking picture brought onto the big-screen so far this year. Everything about the look and craft of this film is beautiful and for that it's worth enough praise.
When the first trailer for the film released I wasn't all too anticipating the film as much as you may think. In fact I didn't think twice about the film and it actually took a while for it to gain my attention. Snow White and the Huntsman didn't become an anticipation until the four-minute trailer released. Even though it revealed a lot from the film, just from that delicious four minutes I knew that I would love the movie as a whole. Prometheus was my main anticipation from the month of June but for the last week and a half, I've been all about counting down the release for this. It certainly wasn't the epic I was wishing for but I walked out happy enough to want to give it a second-viewing (in which I already have).
Everyone knows something about Snow White. Whether you're a fan of the classic Grimm-tale or you saw the very first feature-length animation "Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". No matter what, just about everyone knows enough to walk into Snow White and the Huntsman knowing what to expect dark-wise. Clearly this film goes down the Grimm-tale road, which is in fact, the better way to turn. As remarkable as the Disney classic is, it isn't exactly the story I preferred. The Grimm-tale on the other hand is a beautiful piece in my opinion. It's dark (of course), disturbing, and just all-around fantastic. Snow White and the Huntsman serves it complete justice. The film isn't comedic, light, or made for the sake of family entertainment. It's extremely dark, thrilling, and even sometimes depressing in terms of mood and tone.
Speaking of mood and tone, these are the exact elements that make Snow White and the Huntsman the atmospheric beauty-piece that it truly is. The mood of the film is negative in order to give you dark vibes. The atmosphere of the film has a strong-sense that can almost make you feel uncomfortable at times. The set-pieces are incredibly well-done and the outlook of the Dark Forrest was absolute perfection! The mood and tone of the film also bring out the wonderful visual effects. The design on the troll and all of the different creatures, the dark army, and the mirror on the wall all look magnificent. Not only is the film worth an Oscar-nod for the special-effects, but even the costume-design deserves some good recognition. Hands down the strongest element Snow White and the Huntsman is able to grasp the audience with is through beautiful visuals, sets, and wonderfully well-made costumes.
The acting in the film isn't nearly as bad as a lot of critics are saying. Charlize Theron is worth-praising for her performance as the Evil Queen. Her performance shifts from young to old back to young again and the way that she plays the character so devilishly is pitch-perfect. It's exciting to see her star in a powerhouse performance here and then most likely again next week with Promtheus. Kristen Stewart, who a lot of people do not like (because of her Twilight days) isn't even half-bad here. Her accent slips a few times but she does her best with the material handed to her. Give her a break. Playing Snow White isn't an easy role. She did as well as she possibly could and I give her the benefit of the doubt for that. My favorite character in the film is played by Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman. The film is ten times better when this man graces the screen. Not sure what it is, but Hemsworth is just major star-status now ever since he starred in "Thor" last year. He just makes everything ten times better than what they actually are underneath.
Hemsworth and Stewart don't lack chemistry. People who are saying this are just missing the flare between them. They of course could have had more feeling between their characters but with the scenes that had together they developed as much as they possibly could. More great performances in the film are given by Ian McShane and the other six dwarfs. They were all so good that I wished they were given more screen-time. The only small ounce of light humor in the film is from them and while I appreciated this movie for not ever trying to make the audience laugh, it was just almost impossible to not have fun with the dwarfs in any of their scenes.
The soundtrack is one of the best I've heard in a while. Probably since Hans Zimmer's masterpiece work on "Inception". James Newton-Howard does a marvelous job with the score. As I type this review I find my inspiration through the beautiful sound of the film's soundtrack. Newton-Howard is an artist and definitely one of my favorite composers. If you're a fan, he certainly will not let you down here. This is just another epic soundtrack going on the shelf of greatness along with other pieces of his. My favorites off of the soundtrack are "Snow White", "Sanctuary", "I'll Take Your Throne", "You Failed Me Finn", and "White Hart".
Snow White and the Huntsman is a very substantial mood-piece. This is a film where while a lot didn't I enjoyed it immensely. A lot of the moments in the film I can recall as intense, poetic, and somewhat beautiful. The film isn't complete perfection and not nearly as wonderful as it set itself up for, it does stand-out as a movie worth-seeing in my opinion. It has enough heart and the battle-sequences are extremely enjoyable. I had a great time with this as I had expected. See it on the big screen for the visual spectacle of it. Who knows, you may get a lot out of it like I did.
Thanks for the read!
-Written by Corey Wood