Sunday, June 3, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman


Wicked stepmother Ravenna (Charlize Theron) imprisons princess Snow White (Kristen Stewart) after disposing the king with a dagger to the heart and claiming his kingdom as hers. This really is not her first foray into kingdom-grabbing. As her interesting one-minute flashback would imply, she has been doing this for more than a lifetime already, adding one kingdom after another to her collection as a form of revenge. Trouble starts when one day her Mirror on the Wall declares that she is no longer the fairest of them all, given Snow White’s entry into adulthood as a fair maiden which has an adverse effect on the queen’s appearance, making her age rapidly despite her regular consumption of the youth of the kingdom's women. Discovering that her stepdaughter’s innocence and pure heart are key to her immortality, the queen summons her for the killing, but she manages to escape to the Dark Forest. Admitting that she is powerless in the said area of the kingdom, Ravenna orders a Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to bring Snow White back to her alive.

It is rather funny how the queen is the one getting all the supernatural botox but it is Snow White’s face that seems to be devoid of expression. Sorry, Kristen Stewart, but you just do not have the gravitas to play this role. You seem to only have one uniform expression. However, it is noteworthy how you get to serve your purpose, which is to ramp up the box office returns. USD 50+ million in three days is indeed impressive. Let us admit it, she was obviously hired for her strong box office draw and it obviously worked to their advantage.

Perhaps it is because of the strong impression that he left as Odin’s son that every time Chris Hemsworth appears one would hear a girly giggle which you would half-expect to be immediately followed by something like, “OMG, Thor! OMG!” Despite the Irish (or Scottish?) brogue, he still is Thor and you cannot get rid of such association to make yourself believe that he is the huntsman that he is supposed to be portraying. Perhaps, the problem is with the audience and not with him in particular.

If it is solid acting that you seek then you just have to wait for every appearance of Charlize Theron’s Ravenna. This South African goddess has an Oscar under her belt for a reason, and she further validates her acting prowess here. Her glares give you a glimpse of her inner struggles. Her smile is constantly sexy and sinister at the same time that it just intimidates you. This is the reason why she easily outshines Stewart even with the considerably less screen time that she has.

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