DIRECTOR: Rupert Sanders
May Contain Spoilers!
2012 is very much the year of Snow White, with this film, the recent Mirror Mirror and the new TV series, Once Upon A Time, which again centres around the characters from Snow White. I’ve haven’t seen Mirror Mirror and have no intention of seeing it either but this one struck a chord.
But it failed to exceed my expectations. It was good, visually stunning and as revisionist takes go, quite well conceived but in the end, this was let down by flat performances from a huge cast of great actors. I suggest a visit to IMDB for a full run down of the cast, but suffices to say that the Seven Dwarfs consist of a myriad of British talent, shrunk not only by some cracking visual effects but by their underwhelming performances.
Like the Dwarfs, the key cast, Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman and Charlize Theron as The Queen, were all good, even Stewart was above par for a change and up a notch from her dismal Twilight performances, but their characters were paper-thin, giving them little to work with.
The look of the film though, was wonderful and magnificent in fact, for the first time creating a fairytale world with seemed to be believable, reminiscent of the quality of Lord Of The Rings in parts, but there was just too little to the story and no appetite and rightfully so, to change anything significant. The kiss being one of the best revisions in the film.
At its heart, the story of Snow White is that of a vein queen wishing to murder her young and more beautiful step-daughter for the crime of being more attractive than her. Here, this is heightened by several well conceived yet contrived plot points, but this is kind of the problem.
Fairy tales are simple ideas, moralistic fables were the wicked characters are the demons within us all. In Snow White is innocence to The Queen’s evil vanity, but that doesn’t sell today, so here we have Snow White: The Shield Maiden. Nor a bad choice but a hollow one as beneath the armour there just isn’t enough going on.
On a second viewing though, the film’s biggest flaw and let down, was in the casting of Kristen Stewart. Even tough I said that on the first viewing that she was up a notch from Twilight, which she is, she is most defiantly NOT the fairest of the all, and has no chance of conveying the character which she is tasked to portray. Her acting is ropey at best and only adds to drain the film of any of it’s remaining energy. And as for the extra four minutes which have been added to the Blu-ray, it’s nothing obvious, though a few references which help flesh out the story a little.
Good effort and far from a bad film but it just needed to give more of what it promised.
N.B. Most of this review was originally posted 21st June 2012, but has been updated for the Blu-ray release.