Snow White

5 Jun

So I went and saw Snow White and the Huntsman this weekend.  Testament to what a trailer with good fantasy images will do.  It looked neat, so I went.  Overall?  I liked it.  I think, unfortunately, that the end is by far the weakest part of the whole thing, but it’s worth seeing if you like fantasy stuff.

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One of the neat images from the trailer and film, though this one could have been deleted with nothing lost from the story

There’s an entire section in the middle of the movie that’s as close to a live-action Princess Mononoke movie that we’ve ever gotten.  It’s gorgeous!  And indeed very much like Princess Mononoke, complete with a forest spirit and blinking mushrooms.  Really great stuff.  And the story (save the end) is mostly well told, save for some unnecessary narration by Thor in the beginning.   “And so the scenes you have just seen came to pass.  As you have just been shown.”

Part of it feels (and looks) like Lord Of The Rings, and then after passing through both Miyazaki and Tolkien fantasy it unfortunately devolves into an unimaginative ending that seems to contradict the character of Snow White as established.

I’ll go into more detail, but I’ll also spoil the ending of the movie in doing so, so you’ve been warned.

The second she wakes up/is brought back from the dead via Huntsman’s kiss (his actual name isn’t given, he’s just called “Huntsman.”  I can only assume this is because we all know he’s really Thor) she puts on battle armor and incites the men around her into violence, even engaging in it herself, until she finally commits murder in cold (but “fair” I guess) blood.  She ceases to be Snow White and becomes just another one of the guys.  Then she becomes Queen herself which everyone seems happy about, but she doesn’t say anything at all.

The problem is everything the movie has shown us about her previously: the White Hart/spirit of the forest bowing to her, the ailments of those around her being cured, the positive emotions of the Huntsman being awakened, her sympathy and pity – but not hatred – for the Queen, her assertion that she doesn’t think she’d “be able to” stab someone to death.  All of these things are contradictory to the way she behaves upon being brought back.  It’s a disappointing resolution to the story, and whether that’s how “the original” goes or not, by the time the movie got there I was hoping for more from it.  It almost seems like the third act is from some weaker movie, perhaps  the real third act was lost somewhere, and they just pasted this ending on in order to have a whole movie.

So those are my thoughts on that.  It’s definitely a mixed bag, but so many of the fantasy elements are so great that if you like that stuff at all you’ll probably at least enjoy seeing it.

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