The story of Snow White is not unfamiliar nearly everyone has seen Disneys Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or is at least familiar with the tale of the young princess and her caretakers. While the original fairytale by the Brothers Grimm is quite gruesome, Disneys kid-friendly version is more innocent.
In the latest rendition of the tale, Snow White and the Huntsman, director Rupert Sanders attempts to return to a bleaker, more Brothers Grimm-like adaptation.
Sanders version of Snow White follows some points of the classic Disney version, albeit much more darkly. The evil witch Ravenna (Charlize Theron) murders King Magnus (Noah Huntley) and steals his throne, locking his fair daughter Snow White (Kristen Stewart) the rightful heir away in a tower.
Queen Ravenna remains in a state of eternal youth by draining the beauty from young women while her kingdom falls into ruin. Some years later, Ravennas magic mirror advises her to take Snow Whites heart, which will grant her eternal youth.
Snow White escapes from her tower, much to the chagrin of Ravenna and her henchman brother, Finn (Sam Spruell), who sends skilled navigator Eric the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to capture her. Meanwhile, Snow Whites childhood friend, William (Sam Clifton), searches for her to restore her to the throne and bring the kingdom back to its former glory.
Seeing that Snow White and the Huntsman is a fantasy film, it does get a lot of things right. The cinematography is gorgeous especially during long scenes in enchanted forests teeming with flowers, fairies and rabbits. The costumes are also superb, making the medieval fairytale setting believable and adding to the films overall mystical aura. And Charlize Theron is truly evil as Queen Ravenna, never letting us doubt her insane cruelty for a second.
But while the magical scenery, fairytale costumes and some of the acting is good, the main flaw of Snow White can be summed up in just two words: Its forgettable.
What makes it forgettable? Well, for one thing, the 127-minute film is slow-paced, especially when compared to similar stories such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which is only 83 minutes and, at times, rather boring.
And second, apart from Therons character, the acting can be described as pretty blah. Stewart doesnt really convince us that Snow White could be the savior of the ravaged kingdom, a fairly important plot point.
Thirdly, this long version of Snow White does little to stand out from other versions that audiences have likely seen and heard. Its unfortunate that the pretty effects and costumes and Academy Award winner Charlize Theron are wasted on this forgettable flash of a film.