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    June 3, 2012

    MOVIE REVIEW: SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

    SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (PG13)

    Genre: Action/Adventure/Science Fiction/Fantasy
    Release Date: 31 May 2012
    Running Time: 127 minutes
    Distributor: Universal Pictures
    Director: Rupert Sanders
    Screenplay: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini
    Starring: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Ian McShane

    Plot: In the epic action-adventure Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Charlize Theron) out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White's beauty and power. REVIEWS AFTER THE JUMP

    Review: This is a year for Hollywood to unleash Snow White movies; based on one of the most beloved fairy tale characters that have its root from the Brothers Grimm’s 19th century classical tale. Until recently, we have been served with countless versions of Snow White; a list that includes the innocent 1937 animation from Walt Disney and the 2012’s childish one under the direction of Tarsem Singh. Let us not set asides other possible future projects that will involves Snow White but that is more than enough to prove how popular this property is. Tarsem’s take was the year’s first Snow White movie version but it failed to stand out against its own niches; ending mediocre in all departments. Now we have a different version in the form of “Snow White and the Huntsman” or SWATH, a Universal’s take under the helm of Rupert Sanders which comes in as a different package from “Mirror Mirror.”

    The end games here are where SWATH will stand beside the mediocrity of “Mirror Mirror” and will this version feels as epic as it looks from the trailer? Almost! As the story goes, we have a pretty familiar plot to follow. Years ago, a fair and beautiful princess named Snow White was born. Unfortunately, the tragic death of her mother one winter plunged the king into grief and despair. Seems to be a healer to his grief, the king takes on a new wife who turns out to be man-hating sorceress named Ravenna (Charlize Theron). She killed the king, imprisoned her new stepdaughter and consumed the throne with dark magics that turned the whole land into darkness.

    For all the years Ravenna’s power has everything to do with her dark magic and beauty but is warned by the magic mirror that Snow White will eventually be her destroyer or her salvation for immortality. However, Snow White (Kristen Stewart) escapes her imprisonment but only to run into the fear-gripping dark forest. Ravenna quickly recruits a drunkard widower, Eric the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to bring Snow White back.

    Director Rupert Sanders offers divertive requiem of stunning visual effect and landscape that helps to craft a different perspective into an otherwise familiar setting. His direction helps to give SWATH some credible and appropriate thematic by breathing it with much edgier and dark concept. Together with the gorgeous picturesque, these function well to serve an addition into the movie experience. What more important is that the movie is boasted with enough ingredients that preserve the authenticity of the fairy tale we are so familiar with yet avoiding the unnecessary elements that could have ruin the movie.

    Unfortunately, SWATH contains flaws too. Its overlong and uneven pacing cause a lot of problem, at times affecting the movie experience as it goes. The first act sets up nicely by introducing the background of the story timely and at a great pacing. Audiences are given time to explore the gravity of the issue but will not expected to learn anything more than it sets. Then, the second act deviates and becomes the burden of the story arc. At times, it feels pointless and the movie eventually drags. It does not bode well especially with key pieces in the second fails to launch anything useful to the climactic third act. All to sum it up, the nostalgic proportion of epicness shown in the trailer does not translated well into the final product. The climactic showdown between Snow White and Queen Ravenna becomes rushed, wasted, lacks of thrills and it comes too late in the movie.

    The acting comprising of the fair share of recognized and ensemble cast is still commendable in this one. While there are complaints, there is also an equal share of great quality in it. The screenplay limits the characters to grow or to expand beyond the region of what we know. The back-story is lacking in this one while also causing several of the characters to be underdeveloped.

    Charlize Theron leads the performance department with her exceptionally top notch performance as the evil queen Ravenna. However, the script does not give her more room to expand beyond the simple demeanor of a man-hating villain. Usually, she goes angry but there are times she goes emotionally disturbed; suddenly comes into weep mode for no reason. I would have enjoyed her more as a psychopath with complexity rather than a mood swinger or a bi-polar. Perhaps, it depends on which way you look at it. Been a mood swinger is not all bad because it does give it a few degrees of depth into her character.


    Talks about Kristen Stewart now; she can act (evidently in “Adventureland”) but she is still stuck in the muddy type of performance that could have easily mimics herself in The Twilight Saga. Fortunately, at least; she is bearable and she sticks it up better. This Snow White is no damsel in distress though which gives her version of Snow White a more mature character to delve with but she needs a little polishing though. The only disappointment would be in the form of Chris Hemsworth who seems less palpable and loss-of-touch in this one. Out of Mr. Thor’ outfit his presence fells flat and does not give the character more dimensions than it requires. It seems convenient that his back story runs over a few lines and it somehow gives a reasonable impact. From what I have read from the news, his story will be an ample one as it will be the ground for the next planned sequel. Unfortunately to those hoping for a more developed romantic relationship, you should not be looking forward for that one.

    In the end, “Snow White and the Huntsman” offers an excellent glimpse of visual story-telling that stands out on its own while retaining the elements from the age old fairy tale. However, it does not live up to the spectacular trailer that seems to offer an epic proportional to the style of “Lord of the Rings” on the third act. It does not help further with its uneven pacing and the strong characters that are well underdeveloped.

    MY RATING:
    Story: 2.5
    Casts: 3.5
    Cinematography: 4.0
    Effects: 4.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 12.0/20.0

    "Snow White and the Huntsman" is showing in cinemas nationwide
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