Grimm spin on clas­sic

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - LEIGH PAATSCH

FOR a creaky old fairy­tale con­sid­ered by many to be past its bed­time- story prime, this Snow White and the Hunts­man turns out to be much bet­ter than ex­pected.

The tone of the pic­ture – a lit­tle darker and a lot more dan­ger­ous than your reg­u­lar- strength Snow Whites – hark back to the orig­i­nal ver­sion of the story.

Death, de­monic in­tent and a di­a­bol­i­cally down- and- out world are forces that must be reg­u­larly reck­oned with by the ti­tle hero­ine.

Look­ing out for the oc­ca­sional poi­soned ap­ple is the least of this young lady’s prob­lems. As you should know by now, Snow White is played by Kris­ten Ste­wart. Thank­fully, she’s snapped out of that swoony, sleep­walk­ing thing that’s been get­ting her through the Twi­light films.

Ste­wart means busi­ness here, and I bought her as the right Miss White the mo­ment Snow es­caped the clutches of the royal hench­men by slid­ing dain­tily down a sewer.

By the end of the movie, Snow White 2.0 is a war­rior woman of rather saintly prin­ci­ples, kind of like Kat­niss Everdeen meets Joan of Arc.

The Hunts­man is played by Chris ‘‘ Thor’’ Hemsworth to ser­vice­able ef­fect. He hangs back at the shoul­der of Snow for most of the pic­ture, chip­ping in with a bit of mus­cle and the oc­ca­sional long­ing look when re­quired.

The Seven Dwarfs? Yep, they’re on board as well. In fact, there’s eight of them. They are salt- of- the- earth fight­ing men happy to put their lives on the line for Team White.

Oh, and in a win­ning move, all of th­ese lit­tle blokes are played by the big­gest names in the Bri­tish char­ac­ter- act­ing game ( in­clud­ing Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost, Ray Win­stone and Ian Mc­Shane.)

Speak­ing of win­ning moves, the trump card played to best ef­fect by Snow White and the Hunts­man is its choice of vil­lain­ess.

As the leg­endary Evil Queen – known here as Ravenna – Char­l­ize Theron is at once over the top and un­der the radar in the man­ner in which she con­veys the sheer mad­ness and bad­ness of her char­ac­ter.

More than 100 years of age, the vi­ciously vain Ravenna keeps her good looks by suck­ing the life out of pretty young girls.

To her, Snow White is a prize above all oth­ers.

If Ravenna can drain Snow of her fa­bled beauty and pu­rity, Ravenna will achieve true im­mor­tal­ity.

At a run­ning time just over two hours, there are flat spots to be found in Snow White and the Hunts­man.

New­bie direc­tor Ru­pert San­ders is per­haps a lit­tle too proud of his ( ad­mit­tedly great) fleet of qual­ity FX and pro­duc­tion tricks.

Nev­er­the­less, there is much to like – and linger upon – here. A fine ef­fort.

Now show­ing Vil­lage Cin­e­mas


Kris­ten Ste­wart and Chris Hemsworth in

Snow White and the Hunts­man.

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