Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

In a nutshell: This was a movie that totally sucked you in. Seeing it in the theatre was how it was meant to be seen, since the graphics were stunning, and the fight scenes were epic, and the story was familiar enough that audience was comfortable with all the new twists and plot changes. In fact, I looked forward to seeing which “traditional” aspects of Snow White the filmmakers would keep and what would be new. It was a clever ploy to keep me totally enthralled in what was going on onscreen.

There were just some things that didn’t make any sense, though, and most of it had to do with casting. Here’s the thing: We all know that Charlize Theron is fucking gorgeous. She will be gorgeous in any state, any time, any place, with any set of computer graphics. She is even gorgeous after chopping off all her hair and traveling to Namibia. So it is entirely not possible that that the queen (played by Theron) would EVER be threatened by this:

Don’t get me wrong— KStew is pretty. She’s even pretty after the terrible dye job they gave her for the movie (the “hair as black as night” fools no one). And she’s pretty enough that it would be believable for Thor to fall in love with her. But to pit her against this?

Come on— we are not that stupid.

Now, I consider myself a feminist, so I know if I were reading this review my first reaction would be to tell myself to stop being so superficial and stop demeaning women for their outside beauty alone. But seeing as that is the whole PURPOSE of Snow White, I think it is necessary to judge whether realistically a woman such as the queen would feel threatened by Snow White’s beauty. And in this case? I don’t think she would.

I have to give Theron some credit in this because she pretty much carries the entire movie and makes it worthwhile. It’s hard to make a villain approachable or pitiable, but I think she does a fantastic job of reminding all of us that jealousies and insecurities surrounding facial beauty are very real and surround us all in our everyday lives. Every tabloid image revolves around bringing down men and women (but mostly women) who we have deemed as beautiful by pointing out all their minute flaws. She uses her powers to show us how incredibly vulnerable she actually is. Which is a really impressive feat for an actress to do. It’s a constant sea of emotions and paradoxes, and I can imagine that she was exhausted by the end of filming.

The one thing I will say about Kristen Stewart’s performance is that I will give her props for adding one more expression to her emotional palette.

She would never, ever make it on Toddlers and Tiaras.

In The Runaways, she added sadness. In Snow White and the Huntsman, it was anger. Well, OK, so she wasn’t, like, totally angry, but like, I guess, the death of her father might have made her speak more loudly? And maybe look irritated. But anyway, I’m so used to her total apathy that I was taken aback when she actually got up in front of the crowd and looked pissed.

I enjoyed this movie. I really did. I especially enjoyed the end, where Snow White not only leads troops into battle, but becomes queen WITHOUT the Huntsman (who ends up being her ‘true love’- the kissing kind, at least). I was expecting some ridiculous thing where you see him ruling beside her, thus canceling out all the epically awesome girl-power battle scenes and sending the message that women have to kick ass but still get married to appear worthwhile.

But that didn’t happen! They just showed him at the end, giving her this look as if to say, “Yeah, that’s my love, and she’s awesome.” No mention of any kind of Prince-Consort, so we assume that she’s just going to rule by herself and keep him as a sex toy for when she needs a stress release.

And THAT made the whole movie worth going to. So I would say see this movie, even though it has Kristen Stewart in it, and even though it isn’t entirely believable, and even though the price of a movie ticket these days means you have to wait off on filling your gas tank. Because it probably won’t be in theatres much longer.

Then again, you could get a much better pro-feminist fix with Brave. Just saying. 


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