When I entered the cinema to watch Snow White and the Huntsman I wasn't sure what to expect. Memories of the fairytale I was told as a child - and grew to know and love - were at the forefront of my mind. Yet these memories of that magical tale didn't prepare me for the bewitching and entertaining epic I was about to watch. Director Rupert Sanders has fused old world charm with new age special effects to create a brilliant piece of cinematography sure to entertain the entire family. Be prepared for a whirlwind of action and adventure; as this fairytale brings Snow White into an entirely new realm. This theatrical twist on the classic fairytale begins much like that of the Brothers Grimm story, with Snow White born of three drops of blood, however, after this point the storyline deviates drastically. Despite the significant changes to the story it still pays homage to the classic fable by including many of the same characters and exploring similar themes.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures.
The Evil Queen, who is also known as Ravenna, (Charlize Theron) destroys Snow White's (Kristen Stewart) charmed life by marrying her father and taking over the kingdom. Snow White eventually manages to escape the clutches of the Evil Queen and so ensues an epic battle between good and evil, life and death. On her quest, Snow White is protected by the initially reluctant Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) whose purpose was to hunt her down for the Queen. However, it doesn't take long for him to switch sides and what unfolds over the next hour or so is an enchanting story of destiny. Snow White must ultimately try and defeat the Queen whose reign is only ensured by her ability to stay young and beautiful. Moreover, the Queen's insatiable thirst for immortality is fuelled by the same spell that Snow White is fated to, making these two protagonists inextricably linked to each other.
As Snow White and the Huntsman initially set out to escape the Queen and her wrath; the adventure, action and drama that ensues is wildly entertaining. The special effects in this movie are indeed phenomenal and all contribute to the story in a meaningful way that advances the plot. Many films to come out of Hollywood these days are visually spectacular. However, this is usually at the expense of a great storyline or script. Snow White and the Huntsman has all three. Clearly no expense was spared when it came to costume and set design as the intricacies of the costumes and attention to detail in every aspect of this production are evident. This mystical world is sure to captivate both your heart and imagination.
The death and destruction that the Queen leaves in her wake are offset by the love, faith and hope that Snow White and her followers possess. This battle between good and evil mirrors the perpetual battle that is as old as time itself. These age old themes are explored throughout the movie in such a way as to make them both current and relevant despite the time period. And of course, what Hollywood blockbuster would be complete without a love story, or in this case, a love triangle. This seems to be a running theme for Kristen Stewart films. Unfortunately, Snow White's Prince Charming doesn't quite provide the fairy tale solution that we all might hope for. You won't be disappointed however with the inclusion of the delightfully charming seven dwarfs. Yes, even rewrites have to adhere to some intrinsic storylines.
The Evil Queen Image courtesy of Universal Pictures.
The final faceoff between Snow White and the Evil Queen makes you question the lengths you would be prepared to go to for your own immortality. In a society obsessed with youth and beauty the idea of ego and vanity as a ruling force is not that far-fetched. Whichever side you find yourself on, I have to say, Charlize Theron really does steal the show with her hauntingly realistic portrayal of the Evil Queen. Her award winning performance elevates this film to heights it otherwise might not have quite reached. Overall, this film is visually breathtaking with a carefully crafted storyline that leads you to unexpected yet rewarding places. It may even have you contemplating some of life's larger and more abstract themes. Whatever you personally draw from the experience you won't be disappointed.