Bitesize Review: Snow White And The Huntsman (2012)

DIRECTOR: Rupert Sanders.

CAST: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Spruell, Sam Claflin, Nick Frost, Brian Gleeson, Johnny Harris, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Vincent Regan, Rachael Stirling, Noah Huntley.

SYNOPSIS: A twist on the fairytale we all know, when Queen Ravenna (Theron) sends a Huntsman (Hemsworth) to kill Snow White (Stewart), he finds himself incapable of murder and joins forces with her to end the Queen’s tyranny.

My broken arm calls for a slightly different (and bitesize) reviewing format. So here’s ten things I want to say about Snow White And The Huntsman:

1. The fact that this is Rupert Sanders’ directorial debut speaks volumes. Slick, impressive and very sure of itself, Sanders guarantees something for everyone and will have you excited for what he’s got lined up. Spectacle, magic, battles and humour are all mixed with ease and there is even a sense of Shakespeare in the Theron-Spruell brother-sister double act.

2. Kristen Stewart has fiercely thrown herself into this film and it ensures she is not mistaken for Bella, instead having a perfected English accent that even shows Theron up. She makes such interesting physical choices in her acting, so keep your eyes peeled for a delirious stumble through the forbidden forest. I still think she’s a special little thing.

3. Chris Hemsworth moves from hammer to axe here, with a Scottish accent that is far better than many attempted before him – though it’s not perfect, it definitely does the job. His role may not appear to require much range at first, but he will have you in tears in one slightly unexpected part, while ensuring there is the odd dash of humour throughout.

4. James Newton Howard has composed a beautiful score that effortlessly switches between enchanting and epic, while engaging our emotions when needed and never feeling particularly clichéd. Stick around for the Florence + The Machine track that opens the credits and the stunning visuals that accompany it.

5. The (eight) Dwarves are a fun bunch, but sometimes feel like an odd mix and you wonder whether it may have worked better with some slightly more unknown actors. Ray Winstone and Bob Hoskins do stand out as slightly distracting in their presence, with Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan and Johnny Harris far more interesting to watch. However it’s Nick Frost who provides the best laughs and Brian Gleeson who you will fall in love with.

6. Thinking about it, it still doesn’t really feel that Sam Claflin had that much to do, with Spruell’s Finn far more prominent. Claflin may get a momentary opportunity to show more than one side to his talent, but his William isn’t a patch on fellow archers Katniss and Hawkeye. Go and watch the Channel 4 series, Any Human Heart and you’ll realise how much of the actor’s talent is currently being wasted. I sit in hope.

7. Though Theron’s screeching may border on irritating at points, she never crosses the line, her desperation always at the forefront of her schemes. Painstakingly beautiful, it is in her quietest moments that she is most intimidating.

8. Colleen Atwood’s costumes are nothing short of divine and perfectly compliment the incredible vision regarding the production design. Theron’s Ravenna naturally gets some of the best costumes – look out for the skulls – but it is the parallel to a Raven that is so subtly yet impressively pulled off throughout. It is all too easy to be sucked into the sumptuous spectacle of Snow White And The Huntsman, but Sanders really has created something very special. The scene where Snow encounters all the animals in the heart of the forest is simply breathtaking.

9. Although this film is easy to follow and will cater to the masses, there are times when it doesn’t have a particularly mainstream feel to it. These moments are scattered throughout and draw a parallel to The Hunger Games at times, but a lot of that is to do with the cinematography and editing used within the forest. There is more than a touch of The Lord Of The Rings about it, too, with the Dwarves and the Huntsman appearing to be the Fellowship to Snow’s Frodo. There’s even a cheeky snowy mountain aerial shot.

10. People need to stop complaining about the ending. If you have half a brain, it’s quite easy to see where the script was headed.  Plus it’s nice not to be force-fed a perfectly formed happy ever after for a change.

VERDICT: 4/5

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14 responses to “Bitesize Review: Snow White And The Huntsman (2012)

  1. Saw this the other day, absolutely loved it. I completely agree with you on point 10 – I really enjoyed the way they left things… Chris Hemsworth’s knowing comment to Snow at the very end made it for me 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment – glad to hear you agree!! I got completely sucked up in it and actually would really rather like to see it again. I’m also ashamed that I enjoyed it more overall than Prometheus… But that’s another story!

      • Really?! I have yet to see Prometheus but I’ve heard great things indeed!

      • Omg I cannot believe you enjoyed this more than Prometheus ! I haven’t seen Prometheus yet but I can’t imagine this is a better film

      • Hey Nhat! While Fassbender gives one of my favourite performances of the year so far in Prometheus, I have to admit that I preferred Snow White overall in comparison to it. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it, though. I desperately need to get to see it again – I think it requires that.

  2. I like the listing 10 things format! 🙂 I thought overall the movie was a flat line, dialogue was weak and there wasn’t any chemistry between Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth. The scene where they kissed, I felt nothing and I wanted more from the bridge troll scene. Great Review and I agree with the soundtrack, the score was great! 🙂

    • I would actually agree with you on the troll scene – I thought there was going to be some serious action… but alas, twas a bit of a let down in that regard.

      • something that could have made the troll scene better was some dialogue.. the creature design looked good but the scene led to nothing. btw I bookmarked your site and followed on twitter, your opinions seem great 🙂

      • Aw thanks so much! Have been blogging about movies for a month only, never had the time before… but I’ve moved on to a far less stressful job now thank god!

    • Thanks Devin! Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of choice right now as I’ve got end of year coursework to do which my broken arm is making hard enough when it comes to typing at a reasonable pace! This just makes things a lot quicker for the time being 🙂 I agree on the chemistry, but I thought you could tell how he admired her fire and spirit and why it affected him so much when he thought he’d lost her. Good point on the troll scene, too, but I guess they had to find some way to show that her inner beauty was a force to be reckoned with! I’ve barely turned James Newton Howard’s score off since I watched the film!

      • I understand how busy u must be 🙂 I would’ve like to seen maybe one or two more scene’s w/ SnowWhite and Huntmans arguing or being playful.. but overall for a first time director, not a bad film. A few scenes looked great. Your review is pretty spot on 🙂

  3. Am after reading another blog about this film and it’s after opening my eyes to a few things that was wrong with it overall… but I still genuinely enjoyed this film. And is that not what cinema is all about?!

    • It was in no way perfect, but I had to keep pinching myself to remember it was a directorial debut. That in itself is quite some feat! I totally agree, Kelly – enjoyment is completely subjective 🙂

  4. My buddies and I played “spot the movie reference” throughout this movie! By the time it ended, I actually wondered why it had been made at all given how unoriginal the whole affair was. The dwarves were unfunny, the score I felt was tepid at the wrong moments…. I mean, remember the final battle with the horsemen charging across the beach? While that scene ALMOST rivalled the final charges seen in LOTR or Last Samurai for direction…they were strangely unexciting for me, and lot of that I think was down to the dull score – while I love James Newton Howard, I think he was the wrong choice here.

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