Grimm spin on classic
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
THE WHITE STUFF:
Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth in
Snow White and the Huntsman.