Snow White and the Huntsman
(M) Universal DVD/BD
Despite its familiarity, this is a wickedly clever retelling of the story. The dwarves are more like hobbits than Disney’s Sleepy and Grumpy and Snow White is a young woman pure of heart who turns into a Joan of Arc-style warrior.
Snow White’s (Kristen Stewart) is a beauty of heart, something which the Queen (Charlize Theron) can never possess and the potent force in bringing light back into a kingdom plunged into darkness.
Theron gets the role du jour as Queen Raveena; a role of depth and malevolence. She is given a compelling backstory and a motivation that transcends the vanity of the original. By halting death, the Queen has turned nature in on itself; the forests have turned black and feed off the weaknesses of those who would wander into their twisted darkness. The Queen’s actions have turned the world into a living hell.
The storyline differs markedly from the Brothers Grimm version but its medieval tone might warrant a warning the 19th century German storytellers sometimes applied: parental guidance is necessary.
Snow White and the Huntsman is told with a Lord of the Rings sized budget and flourishes, so its CGI effects are seamless and a feast for the eyes. Director Sander’s Enchanted Forest is one of many visual highlights.