After waiting for over a week to watch Snow White and The Huntsman (SWATH), I finally managed to watch it last night, thanks to the event held by Chicks at the Flicks. Not only was I excited to be watching a movie at the Gold Class Cinemas (yes, first time for me), but it was a film that I’ve been dying to see, considering the hype surrounding it.
So what was my verdict? First let me give you a short synopsis of SWATH. Unlike every other Snow White tale that we’ve heard before, this is a darker version of the story. Yes, there’s dancing and singing, but not like what you would expect. There are no singing birds and Snow White doesn’t clean the dwarves cottage – thank goodness for that!
Kristen Stewart plays the part of Snow White, which apparently has brought about some mixed responses at the choice. Charlize Theron plays the evil queen, with Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman and Sam Claflin as William. Ravenna acquires the throne when she kills the king on their wedding night, and locks Snow up in a tower until one day, when the mirror tells her that to have eternal beauty she has to consume Snow’s heart. This is where the “adventure” begins. Snow manages to escape into the dark forest, and thanks to Ravenna’s persistent need for Snow’s heart, the Huntsman was brought in to hunt her out. We all know how the story pans out – ultimately, the Huntsman has a change of heart and decides to help Snow instead. I won’t divulge any more of the story, in case you were interested in watching in.
While the story is as dark as it could get – something I’m always in favour of, I found a lot things missing. The characters weren’t developed enough and it felt as though they were trying to cram as much as they can into that span of 127 minutes. While I understood Ravenna’s motives for wanting to stay young forever, I was confused as to what I should feel for her – sorry for what had happened to cause her to be so evil – they did somehow show us how and what caused her to want to be forever young but it was somewhat lacking in substance. Character wise, I didn’t get to connect with Snow that much. I couldn’t feel how “special” she was. Like I said, it was a pretty haphazard way of introducing every character in short span of time. I couldn’t feel the connection between Snow and the Huntsman either – something was definitely missing and finally William, there was no inkling as to why Snow would want to kiss him to begin with. There was also no indication (unless I missed it somehow) as to why that particular guy was chosen as the Huntsman – maybe some indication that he was the best somehow would have been a great way to educate us? These are just a few loose ends that I found a bit disruptive, but there are more, believe me.
Despite knowing that a sequel is right now in the works, I did feel that the whole story didn’t feel whole. It had a lot of threads that were left loose. So if I hadn’t known that there was going to be one, I would have suspected so. Maybe this was just laying the foundation of what’s to come and hopefully the next one would help us learn about the characters a little bit deeper.
On a positive note, I did enjoy the special effects and cinematography. Ravenna’s costumes were amazingly beautifully, detailed, thanks to Colleen Atwood. The cast were aptly chosen, even though a friend of mine thought casting Kristen Stewart as Snow White wasn’t all that appropriate. I’m disagreeing not because I do like her, but I can see why (besides trying to bring in the box office sales) she was chosen. Sure she’s not the typical Hollywood beauty, she definitely isn’t the doe eyed, fluttering lashes type of beauty, she’s what I would call an alternative beauty. Someone with an edgier look, which I thought was wholly appropriate for such a dark tale. It wasn’t about Snow White being superbly beautiful on the outside, it was more about what she was like on the inside – something that should have been developed a lot more in this film to make people accept and understand that. The overall acting was acceptable, but again, I would have been able to gauge it better if the characters had been developed a little bit more.
Overall, not a bad film but I did expect a lot more because of the hype and it left me feeling….unsatisfied, like I wanted more. Too many loose ends.
Have you seen SWATH? What were your thoughts on it?