Snow White and the Huntsman

Fridays are normally my homework days while I’m in school, but this week was my first week on my little summer break (it’s only two weeks long before the Fall semester starts) and I decided I was going to treat myself to a movie.  (A three dollar movie, but hey, it’s the one I wanted to see.)

Why did I want to see it?

…. Uh … to be very shallow, because Chris Hemsworth was in it.  

Honestly, I became a fan when I saw Thor.  (Even though Tom Hiddleston, who played Loki, is sort of identical to my character Nelek Dyngannon.)

But to get out of the shallow waters, I tend to watch anything fantasy/fairy tale-ish.  I watched Mirror Mirror, too.  And have almost every version of Robin Hood that has been made in my lifetime.  So, Chris Hemsworth + Snow White tale = I should see this movie.  The only reason I didn’t see it when it first came out was because it looked too scary to take my 4 year old son to, and my Fridays were occupied with school work.

Let me first say that Charlize Theron was surprisingly terrifying.  I didn’t think she could pull off psycho-evil-queen, but she did.  And I actually felt bad for her (the character, not the actress) with the back-story they gave this lady.

I have long been a fan of Theron.  I think she’s absolutely beautiful, and in this movie she was able to turn that beauty into something really tragic.  Well, tragic and scary.  Let’s face it, she does some pretty nasty things in this movie in order to keep her vitality and all that.

Now … I have to admit that I twitched when I heard Kristen Stewart was playing the role of Snow White.  Especially when I spotted her in a poster wearing armor.  I could get Stewart as Snow White if the character was a little wimpy, awkward, and incapable of speaking above a whisper level.  But this Snow White was being portrayed as someone with the strength to fight the almighty Queen portrayed by Theron.    

This just didn’t work for me.  I can’t fully explain why, but something was off in this performance.  I fully admit that I am not a Twilight fan, but that has nothing to do with the movies and everything to do with the fact that I read the first book and didn’t care for it.

(Twilight fans, I’m glad you like them, they just weren’t for me.  They were a smidgen too angst-driven for me, and that always gets under my skin.  But then, not every book is going to appeal to every reader, so I wish you all well of them and sincerely hope you enjoyed the series as a whole.)

In any case, Stewart did manage to pull off one thing for the story as a whole, which is why I was still able to enjoy the movie.  Compared to Theron, Stewart was extremely small (and I mean that character-wise and not just physical attributes).  This made for a drastic sense of Stewart and her fellows being up against insurmountable odds.

And I do so love stories with insurmountable odds.

Now then, back to being semi-shallow … Chris Hemsworth pulled this movie together for me.  Not only because I loved him in Thor and was willing to see what else he could do as an actor, but because he put a real sense of “goodness hidden by grit” into the story.

Let me explain that ….

The story shows us a place where evil Queen Lady has overrun all the good people.  She’s sort of a disease that just infects the land itself.  Trees turn all black and dead, the castle walls suddenly look darker, and everything good is covered by this festering sense of death.  In such a place as this, you would be hard pressed to find someone of good moral character.

Enter the Huntsman, whose bitterness at a personal loss has managed to overshadow the real man he is.  He’s a mirror to the world itself, and you get the sense that if he can overcome his loss and break free, then the rest of the world can follow with him.  (I’m a writer, I read into things.  It’s totally possible that this isn’t what anyone else saw from his performance but … hey … it’s all relative.)

So!  I have to say that I enjoyed this movie.  If I were ranking it, I’d put about 4 stars on it.  I liked the concept — even if it was darker than my usual fare — and I enjoyed the performances.  It was just missing something to push it into the 5 star rank.  Nevertheless, I’ll probably buy it for my collection when it comes out for sale.

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