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Evil Queen, Bella Swan and Thor expose the dangers of radical feminism...)))
on 9 December 2013
Making a more serious, not really children oriented version of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", was a great idea - but it was not very well made and the result is an only half-successful film, saved from total failure by incredible performance of Charlize Theron. This review contains some limited SPOILERS.
The story is of course very well known and in its main lines this film sticks to it, so there is no real need to tell it again here. However the story was changed very much as far as the character and the background of the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron) are concerned. In this film she has a name (Ravenna) and a past, of which I will say only that it is radically feminist...))) She is also much, much more powerful than in the 1937 film and even than in the original Grimm's tale. In this film she is a REALLY powerful sorceress, well versed in the darkest magic and using it massively, both to extend her already unnaturaly long life and to maintain her power over the land. But, and that was a really excellent idea, in the same time she is a poison to the land - the dark magic she uses makes the whole once flourishing country sick...
Charlize Theron is THE reason for which this thing is even watchable. Her Ravenna is a really terrifying creature, feeding on life force of young maidens and rotten insides of dead birds, flying with carrion birds, maintaining an incestuous relation with her own brother ("Game of Thrones" anybody?) when in the same time clearly hating men, using dagger, poison, hexes and legions of henchmen with same deadly skill, etc. She is a real delight to watch!
Snow White was changed deeply too, from a damsel in distress awaiting her prince to a shield-maiden leading her army to war. The general idea was not so bad, but the execution of it was really not terrific... The responsability here lays both with the scenario and with Kristen Stewart's acting. I must here precise that not only I am one of the few hetero-sexual males who actually liked the "Twilight" saga but I also rather liked the way Kristen Stewart played Bella Swan, a troubled, clumsy, introverted teenager. The great problem is that in this film she didn't really try to portray the Upgraded Butt-kicking Fully-Armored Snow White but just... another Bella Swan. And that really hurt this film. Also let's be honest here - Kristen Stewart is not half bad looking but any magic mirror which would consider her fairer than Charlize Theron is certainly in a dire need of deep magico-psychiatrico-ophtalmological revision...)))
The Huntsman also has now a bigger role in the story. Chris Hemsworth plays him here as basically a slightly downgraded Thor with some Han Solo elements. Initially there were thoughts about a sequel and therefore the Huntsman was supposed to develop feelings for Snow White and the setting for a love triangle was even established - but the total lack of any magnetism between Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart is so obvious here that any possible romance between those two seem to be absolutely excluded.
The dwarfs are OK I guess, with a good role of Bob Hoskins as their leader. They too are very different from the dwarfs from both 1937 movie and from the original story - they are also not exactly nice characters.
The film contains one unnecessary scene of travelling through sewers, with a very explicit explanation in WHAT exactly the characters are swimming. Honestly, it grossed me out...
Bottom line, this film is watchable, but mostly for Charlize Theron. Most of the scenes with other characters, you can fast forward without losing much. A film to see once (if at all).