Mook Review: Snow White Part Two – “Snow White & the Huntsman”

Since two Snow White inspired movies were released in 2012, I split this post in two parts.  Part One compares “Mirror Mirror” and Part Two compares “Snow White & the Huntsman.”  Click to read Mook Review: Snow White Part One – “Mirror Mirror” which includes a review of Little Snow-White by the Brothers Grimm.  Happy Reading!

“Snow White & the Huntsman”  Directed by Rupert Sanders

Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Rupert  Sanders, Snow White

via IMDB.com

Admittedly, this was the Snow White movie I was much more excited to see this year, as it seemed less kid-friendly and more dark and intense.  I really liked the alterations to the story; all of the elements of the original Little Snow-White were basically there with a subtle twist which made “Snow White and the Huntsman” interesting.  Specifically, Queen Ravena’s rise to power was much different from the original tale right from the beginning.  She intentionally kills the King and overtakes his Kingdom, which eventually becomes withered, poor, and helpless under her evil rule.  The Queen steals beauty from the young girls in the kingdom in order to stay youthful, but when Snow White comes of age the Queen realizes it is Snow who will break her spell.

While Kristen Stewart definitely looked gorgeous as Snow White, my problem with her character was that she barely had any lines.  I’m not a fan of Stewart’s acting at all but I think what happened in this movie isn’t her fault.  I was hoping to see Stewart portray a role that we are not used to seeing her in and potentially break out of her stereotype. I wanted to see this Snow White be strong willed, brave, and exciting but instead I found her to be meek, helpless, and relying on the help of others (ie: Bella in “Twilight”).  When she had her big ‘waking up’ moment at the end of the film, encouraging her supporters to fight for her honor, it was a little unbelievable.  Although I do think Stewart brought much more emotion at that moment than ever before, it didn’t necessarily work for me.

Despite that problem, I thought the movie was pretty fantastic.  The visuals were great, I loved the changes to the storyline (not to mention Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman was oh so lovely to look at).  The final scene was a little strange to me.  I didn’t think it accomplished much, but it wont be the last we see of Snow White since a sequel has officially been approved.  If you are into fantasy and fairy tales, I would definitely give this film a shot.

Mook Rating  ★★★ 1/2

About these ads

Mook Review: Snow White Part One – “Mirror Mirror”

Since there are two Snow White inspired movies being released in 2012, I am splitting this post in two parts.  Part One will compare “Mirror Mirror” and Part Two will compare “Snow White & the Huntsman.”  Happy reading!

Little Snow-White  Fairy Tale from the Brothers Grimm

Brothers Grimm Little Snow White Book Cover Mookology Book review

via whisperingbooks.com

Little Snow-White can be considered the beginning of fairy tales in popular culture.  The story was first adapted by Disney in 1937 with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” which also marked the first animated feature film of the Disney corporation.  Snow White as a character became the quintessential Fairy-Tale Princess, accompanied with her sweet singing voice and cute animal friends… but this concept of Snow White is very off-track with its original telling.

The Brothers Grimm debuted Little Snow-White in 1812; a story that reflects the one we have come to love, but with much deeper complications.  It begins as usual, the King and Queen have a baby named Snow White, and the Queen dies shortly after.  The King remarries to a vain woman, obsessed with her own beauty and envious of the beautiful Snow White.   When the magic mirror tells the Queen “Snow White is the fairest of them all” she sends out the Huntsman to kill Snow White in the woods and bring back her heart and lungs for proof – quite a dark twist for a children’s tale.  The Huntsman, captivated by Snow White’s pure beauty, sets her free and brings the Queen the heart and lungs of a boar instead.

In the woods, Snow White finds salvation in the home of seven little dwarves, but succumbs to the evil Queen three times, the last time ultimately leading her to death by the infamous poisonous apple.  The dwarves, distraught by her death, place her in a glass coffin so her beauty can always be seen.  Some years later, a Prince wandering through the woods finds Snow White and falls madly in love with her.  He asks the dwarves if he can have her coffin and as the Prince’s servants walk away with the coffin they trip, causing the piece of poisonous apple to dislodge from Snow White’s throat and awaken her.  The Prince and Snow White get married and the Queen, still vain and housing severe hatred for Snow White, is punished by being forced to wear slippers made of hot iron and dance until her death.

Not quite the kiddy tale we all knew and loved, huh?  Little Snow-White is a great story for a number of reasons, but none of which is its great message to children.  It has been adapted and transformed time and time again but consistently reveals the true evil that can be caused by vanity.

“Mirror Mirror” Directed  by Tarsem Singh

Mirror Mirror, Tarsem Singh, Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Mookology

via IMDB.com

“Mirror Mirror”, a comedic version of the traditional tale, opened to a dismal 3rd place in the box office, bringing in a low $5.9 million.  This was somewhat expected, considering “The Hunger Games” -which dominated the box office the weekend before- continued its reign throughout the week.  Although this film was received by critics with mediocre reviews, I found myself entertained by Tarsem Singh’s film.

“Mirror Mirror” had some original plot lines that deviated from the typical Snow White.  For instance, the role of Armie Hammer as Prince Alcott put him in a love triangle between the Queen and Snow White – something that has virtually never been done before.  I also loved how the seven dwarves were thieves rather than simple miners; this gave them a darker edge and brought out vigor in Snow White’s character as well.  But for all the originality it brought to the tale, it lacked in substance.  Every scene seemed to be floating on the surface of something real, too sugar coated and sweet whilst trying to maintain its deviation from the Disney version of the story.

The cinematography, costume, and set design in “Mirror Mirror” was very spectacular and dream like, which emphasized the fairy tale aspect grounded in this story.  Lily Collins was an impeccable looking Snow White, so beautiful and tenderhearted it was as if Collins were made for this part.  However, Julia Roberts’ role as the Queen was a bit unconvincing.  I just didn’t buy her genuine meanness and hatred for Snow White, and I decided halfway through the movie that this was definitely not Roberts’ best role.

In my opinion, if you are going to make a new Snow White movie in 2012, you gotta give the viewer something different.  This story has been done time and time again so, when a major production like “Mirror Mirror” comes around, you expect a movie that completely turns Snow White upside down.  With this film, it didn’t happen.  And that is exactly my problem with the film.  I was entertained, but I wasn’t floored, and “Mirror Mirror” left me wanting a little something extra.

Mook Rating  ★★★