- Terelle Jerricks
By Danny Simon
Director Rupert Sanders unadulterated take on Snow White is a refreshing gore-filled romp through a world colored by the effects of good and evil. Everyone knows a version of the original(s), so I can skip spoiling the plot. This story is about beauty and power, age and class position (the later, much less).
While both leads are strikingly beautiful, Kristin Stewart and Charlize Theron are an awkward pairing. In the Twilight films, en jeune Stewart is in comparable company with other one dimensional actors, but here she appears wooden next to Theron who executes her soliloquies with passion yet restraint.
In her Henry V moment, Stewart’s inconsistent British accent is laughably poor and reminiscent of Kevin Costner’s lame attempt in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Actually, Costner and Stewart share more than bad British accents in that both are middling actors who get by on their looks.
With the exception of one bumpy sequence early in the film, Greig Fraser’s cinematography eloquently captures his subjects within their natural and CGI settings. While the face of Theron’s Ravenna morphs throughout the film, we often see it from a medium range and it seems as if Frasier and Sanders were inspired by photographer Karen Radkai who shot for Vogue Magazine in the 1950s. This is a beautiful film filled with beautiful people.
Hollywood films of this scale are known for having too many cooks in the kitchen. But somehow screenwriters Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock and Hossein Amini managed to keep the story from being mangled by producers with less than virtuous intentions.
In writing the script for Snow White, these writers have joined a pantheon of storytellers that have added a pinch of themselves to this story–a story that came from an oral tradition that is defined by generational reinterpretation.
Snow White was one out of more than 200 German folk stories Jacob and Wilhem Grim (otherwise known as the Brothers Grimm) collected and published between 1812 and 1857. The brothers’ effort was an attempt to preserve national German culture from the threat of modernization.
The creation of these stories may be read as an inter generational attempt at producing children who obey their parents and conform to society’s cultural norms.
Sanitized versions of the stories, a la Disney, lost their potential potency to create conformity. However, Psychologist Bruno Bettelheim theorized that it was beneficial for children to read the original gore filled stories as it prepared them for the potential harshness of adult life. If scaring and scarring your kids for life makes them shut up in the movie theatre (read my movie theatre), I say hang the expense of a lifetime of psycho therapy, and take your kids to see Snow White and the Huntsman.