Snow White and the Huntsman
A sinister slant on the much told tale, with Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron
This feisty fairytale from debut director Rupert Sanders takes the Brothers Grimm story and inserts feminism, viscous visual effects and a rugged love rival. Fans of the Twilight series will most likely delight at its moody aesthetic and the presence of Kristen Stewart as its plucky heroine. Following on from the recent Mirror Mirror, it’s a contrastingly sinister slant on the much told tale.
In this latest retelling Snow White (Stewart) spends seven years incarcerated by the dastardly Ravenna (Charlize Theron) who has seduced and murdered Snow White’s father, the King, and installed herself as Queen. While Ravenna plots to consume her heart in order to achieve immortality, Snow White manages to escape. As she flees into the Dark Forest she is pursued and later protected by Eric, the titular huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), before being reunited with childhood sweetheart William (Sam Claflin) and emerging as a rival for the throne. True to the original tale, there’s an appearance by (cheeringly all-star) dwarves, whose CGI miniaturisation, flamboyant get-up and ribaldry provides precious laughs.
Although it fitfully drags, Sanders’ confident handling of the sizable production means that overall it’s an impressive debut. With her fierce beauty and pernicious petulance, Theron makes for an imperious villainess. Stewart is characteristically earnest and expressive but the film fails to convincingly convey her transition to warrior queen and she’s quickly enmeshed in yet another fatigue-inducing love triangle. Despite his beefcake appeal, Hemsworth is a less than inspiring love interest and an unconvincing Scot. However, the dwarves’ appearance is worth the wait. If there has to be a next time - which it hints that there may be - then less of the huntsman please and more of the dwarves.