Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

1. Theater-worthy! See it!
2. Definitely rent it.
3. Stream it on Netflix, if you must.
4. Don’t even bother.

Despite having some less than stellar reviews, I really wanted to see Snow White and the Huntsman. Maybe it was the trailer that impressed me, but I was pretty committed. My husband saw it without me while I was visiting my BFF in Boston recently (with the promise he’d see it again with me upon my return), and, although he had his qualms with it, he said it was worth seeing, so we went.

It’s rated PG-13 for a reason. Not sex. Not language. Thankfully. But definitely adult content, including a couple things that grossed me out. I mean, come on. The story goes that the magical evil queen hunts people’s hearts. That’s gross. Please don’t mistake this for a Disney movie and take your young child to see it.

If you can see it in the theater, do it. Why? Because of the visuals. This film is stunningly beautiful and genuinely visually creative. I mean, there are some films out there that really strive toward visually interesting concepts, but this one seemed less contrived and more appealing than anything I’ve seen in a long time. I kept finding myself thinking: now that is seriously cool. The only hang up was that sometimes the visuals didn’t really have any recognizable purpose, but it seemed forgivable because it was just that cool.

I enjoyed the movie from start to finish, truly. It was a unique take on the fairy tale of Snow White, and I appreciated that. But, other than some of the visuals, in the end I walked away and forgot about it almost the second I walked out of the theater. As I realized it, I thought about how when I think a movie is genuinely good, it sticks with me. I think about it. I don’t want it to end. I talk about the characters later on. I look forward to the sequel.

As we drove home my husband helped me process. We agreed that we had very little attachment to any of the characters. In the end, we didn’t really care who Snow White’s true love was, or even that she won the fight (even though we always root for good to win). The strongest character was the evil queen, whose team you can’t be on by principle, so we felt kind of stuck.

The telling of the story relied heavily on the viewer’s previous knowledge of and love for the original story, which, given the fame of the story, is acceptable. But if you didn’t know and love it, the apple, the dwarves, and the little critters would seem really random and thrown in there to make it feel more magical. I loved all of those elements, but I already have a history with them.

Let’s talk about the acting, because I love acting, and it can make or break a movie. This movie was full of recognizable faces, which can often mean great performances. And for the most part, it did. There were lots of great actors found in the dwarves, and I really liked them, although their roles were far less significant than in the story we’re most familiar with. Best actor for this movie (to me) goes, without question, to Charlize Theron. She played the evil queen, Ravenna, and she was masterful at being evil, powerful, and stunning without being overtly sensual or sexual. She also emoted her humanity well, which I found unique to this kind of character. I don’t know. Maybe she was my favorite evil queen. Really well done.

Kristen Stewart. Sigh. How does she keep getting trapped in these stories where she has to choose between two men who are equally in love with her? Poor thing. 😉 If the message about being the “fairest of them all” is truly about inner beauty, then okay, great moral of the story. But I really thought Snow White was supposed to be more outwardly beautiful than the very beautiful evil queen. Am I wrong? Did I misinterpret that entirely? If not, I think they definitely cast the wrong gal for Bella – I mean – Snow White.

What does Kristen Stewart do well? Lots of things. She played a believable fighter, I thought. She brought intensity, conviction, and determination to every scene. I’m pretty sure she had tears in her eyes in over half of the movie. That’s very intense. The only problem was, that was all there was. There was little to no variation in her emotion the whole movie. It’s possible she may have even had the same expression on her face throughout the whole thing. At first I was impressed by her strengths. By the end, I realized her entire performance, while emotionally believable, was one note, and I couldn’t connect to her character at all.

For all my gripes (do I always say this in my reviews?), I did think it was certainly worth seeing. I’ve already analyzed everything wrong with it for you, so now you don’t have to. =) Go enjoy the visual creativity. It was worth it for me.

 Photo Credit

About Lyndsay Wilkin

Lyndsay Wilkin, an editor for On the Willows, lives in Northern California with her husband, Wyley, and their two kiddos, Harrison and Clara, and their adorable lemon beagle, Indiana (Indie). She received her BA in International Government and hopes to further her education somewhere down the line. In the meantime, she holds the office of "Mommy" and works part-time for Visiting Angels Home Care Services, helping families find caregivers for their loved ones as an alternative to placing them in nursing homes. For fun, she does a little acting on the side and enjoys writing fiction and reading LOTS of books. She loves movies, history, politics, traveling, and volleyball. As a blogger, she's all about big picture topics, especially when it comes to having a biblical worldview in today's Western culture. As a friend, Lynds is absolutely loyal and thoughtful and she would do anything for her friends. “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:3
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6 Responses to Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

  1. Kristin Dwyer says:

    I AGREE. But I will say I felt more attached to the Queen than any of the other characters, which I think is a testament to why she has an Oscar and K-Stew doesn’t. K-Stew was twitchy, wouldn’t close her mouth and never had any lines!!!!!! Ugh. And the whole movie was a montage to other great movies (LotR, Peter Pan, Princess Mononoke, The Never Ending story) I liked that they incorporated things that reminded me of all of them, but not very original.

    • Lyndsay Wilkin says:

      Totally on the queen. Then I got this guilty complex about being attached to her because she is EVIL! I blame it on equal parts writing and acting. K-Stew could have redeemed her lack of lines in her glorious monologue, but she didn’t.

  2. Stephanie Krier says:

    OK, I really want to see this! You’ve convinced me!
    She hunts people’s hearts? Wow, very taken from Grimm’s (which was originally liver, but some versions heart)! Makes me want to see what other parts of Grimm’s may have been used besides that and the huntsman! YAY… now to convince the hubbs.

    • Lyndsay Wilkin says:

      Good! You’ll like it, Steph! I don’t know about Bobby, though. His preference in movies completely evades me. haha. Let me know!

  3. Karen Phillips says:

    I also agree this is theater-worthy for the visual effects. However as a true romantic, it was not the fairytale I hoped to see. The evil queen did get her “just desserts” but the kiss scene, really? The end was also…..unsatisfying.

    • Lyndsay Wilkin says:

      Karen – definitely agree. The romance of the fairytale took such a backseat that it almost wasn’t there, sadly.

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