Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursentary: Snow White and the Huntsman



Photo Credit: thechristianmanifesto.com

So here is what happened: I went to the library and saw Snow White and the Huntsman at the library. “Ooh!” I thought. “Thor is in this! This will be worth the watch!” I brought it home, and I watched it, and it wasn’t, but that’s okay because I learned something.

Before I share that, however, let’s recap what all it was that I saw.

The Rundown (by me)

Queen Ravenna killed her husband, the King, and executed a Hostile Takeover: Kingdom Edition on her wedding night—and her young stepdaughter, Snow White, has lived locked in a tower ever since. Snow grows into Ravenna’s greatest rival, politically and physically. Snow must escape the queen’s reach and find allies to restore her throne, but if she is to regain her throne she must win the hearts and hands of her future citizens. Though accompanied by the best tracker in the land, trust and hope are Snow’s only allies. Allies that will betray her. Snow will defeat the queen, that much is sure—that is, if the queen doesn’t defeat Snow first.

(Yes, it is still Snow White so I bet you can guess the ending, but let me have my mystique. Come on.)

Spekalation: Key Things I Didn’t Like (Top 8 Edition)
[SPOILERS, bee tee dubs]

1. main character confusion: Half an hour into the movie, Queen Ravenna was still the main character. Then Snow comes back and the story gets constantly switched between the queen and the princess. I might have liked it more if the story stuck to one or the other—and frankly, I think the movie would have ended better if Ravenna stayed the main character. We didn’t get enough time with Snow for me to care too much.

2. fairy tale: This isn’t necessarily a stab at the movie itself, because it was interesting the way they did this idea, but I don’t like the idea of a fairy tale where a woman’s value is solely based on her physical beauty. (And it’s an arguable point, I understand. Just not my favorite thing ever.)

3. recycled villains: It seemed like with the relationship between Finn and Ravenna I was looking at a cross somewhere between the Lannisters or Targaryens from Game of Thrones. Also, starting the first half hour with the very bad villain doing her very bad evil with her very bad mirror friend was cliché. Just saying.

4. too much: By switching away from Ravenna’s POV, there were a lot of characters and backstories that ended up falling by the wayside or didn’t get as much attention, so in some ways the movie felt cluttered because all of the stories were still crammed in there.

5. Thor’s wife: We heard about Thor’s wife all the time, but we never really got flashback time with her. I don’t think they exploited the device as much as they should have. (Yeah, I know Chris Hemsworth’s character wasn’t named Thor, but other than the subtitles they never really acknowledged his name.)

6. no romantic closure: I didn’t need a wedding. I didn’t even need a passionate kiss. But at the end, when William was looking at Snow and Thor was creeping around in the back at the coronation, it would have been nice to see an indication of which guy she was going to go for. Little smile. Slight nod. That’s all I needed.

7. Thor’s romantic identity: I was liking the fact that Thor wasn’t actually going to be Snow’s main love interest and then he got drunk and there went my joy. Oh, well.

8. hiking: If I recall, a lot of Snow’s POV included hiking. Wee bit boring.

And it wasn’t all bad. I liked the parallel between this Snow and the Disney Snow praying, the color schemes Ravenna had were superb, and I liked the dwarves and Hart. Snow White even knew how to react to a forest fire! But on the back cover of the DVD, it said, “This Is No Fairy Tale” and I beg your pardon but that’s exactly what it was.

The reason we hold on to fairy tales is because we can make do so many things with them, and each new revision adds something a little different. This added some, but it borrowed a whole lot more, and so I learned this: if you’re going to borrow, borrow wisely. ‘Too much of a good thing’ is a real phenomenon.

If you do watch it, I propose you think about it with my substitute title: Queen Ravenna Pitches a Fit. It might prepare you a little more for the plot that is to come.

Star Rating: 2/5

Did you see Snow White and the Huntsman? What did you think? Share in the comments below!

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