by Tim Gordon
A breathtakingly fresh and original new take on the classic children’s story in this fractured fairytale for a new generation, Snow White and the Huntsman.
After a brief setup showing the deception and treachery of the Evil Queen, Ravenna (Charlize Theron), we are thrust straight into a Shakespearean take on the traditional Snow White story. Vanity is the queen’s greatest sin and she constantly must feed her desire to remain beautiful or will perish. After her customary session with her “mirror, mirror,” she discovers that the key to immortality is consuming the heart of the fairest of the land, Snow White (Kristen Stewart), Locked away in a tower since the death of the her father the King, she manages a daring escape before Ravenna can follow through on her evil plan. She escapes to the dark forest when the queen send a courageous but defiant Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to capture and return the runaway princess.
Under the direction of by Rupert Sanders, the modern fairytale leaps off the page with delicious vigor powered by Theron’s performance as the Evil Queen. With so much familiarity and moving parts onscreen, you can’t take your eyes off Theron as she dominates the film. Hemsworth, who has already struck gold in The Avengers, is solid as the Huntsman who falls under the enchanted spell of Snow White. Stewart manages to project enough vulnerability and confidence to seamlessly step into the title role but between this film and her Twilight franchise, she needs a role where she is the savior instead of the savee.
A fresh story concept, wonderful lead performances and its Lord of the Rings’ flourishes make this a winning tale. Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s the fairest film of all . . . this weekend, to which the mirror will reply, “Snow White, baby, Snow White!”