Fairy tales are a fertile ground for great book and or movie ideas. By nature they are archetypal tales to the Nth degree, stripped off character development, emotionless, with a shadowy plot, and perplexing symbols. Snow White is no exception. Disney did a great job of cherry picking the elements they wanted, and expanding on them to create a movie worth watching. But this movie ain’t no Disney. In fact, it ain’t much of a movie.
Plot? Hello? Plot? The movie opens to a queen in a garden having her finger pricked by a rose and seeing three crimson drops of her blood against the pure white snow. She wishes for a daughter. . .blah, blah, blah. This back story doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the movie. Yes, there is a reoccurring theme of three drops of blood, but instead of going somewhere meaningful, it fades into the background. Every potential plot element leaps to your awareness, and then fades into the background. Just because it’s in the fairy tale DOESN’T mean it has to be in the movie (or book). Pick your elements people! I see this kind of thing from beginning authors, not Hollywood productions I’ve just paid 9 bucks a ticket for. I felt the serious urge to take my editing machete-of-death to this movie and chop out the boring, long back story, and other stupidity.
I’ll be specific. After what seems like hours, the evil queen comes to the kingdom and kills the king. Other nobles flee, and the child Snow White is snatched on horseback in the melee. Ah, I think, she’ll wind up in the forest and be raised by dwarves, or this William kid (is he a brother? A cousin?) and the interchangeable, cardboard adults will bring her up to be a rallying point in a future revolution. Nope. She get’s left behind, where the queen locks her in a tiny tower cell for the rest of her childhood. Yes, the queen, who devours the essence of all young girls to keep from aging, somehow forgot that she had a young girl locked in her attic. Maybe she was saving Snow White for later? Like dessert? In spite of her decade long confinement, Snow White miraculously suffers no muscle atrophy and can acrobatically escape when the moment presents itself. She apparently learned swimming, courtly dancing and mastered bareback, bridle-less horseback riding while incarcerated. Amazing.
After about seven hours, Snow White finally meets up with the huntsman sent to track her and bring her back to the queen. Ah, I think, the huntsman will teach her to fight, to defend herself, to become a kick-ass heroine. That’s where it’s all going! Nope. The huntsman spends three seconds showing her a close contact knife thrust to the heart, then informs her she should not hesitate. This is the entirety of her self-defense lessons. Oh, and then the huntsman takes the knife back. The queens guys are hot on her trail, and all she’s got is sketchy knowledge of one knife thrust move, and no knife to do it with. Hopefully she’d find another white horse she could jump on and get away.
A village full of women who maimed themselves to avoid the queen’s notice. Nope that was all of three minutes then their village burned and they were gone. Dwarves! Finally. Nope. I didn’t even care about the one who died. William shows back up again. Yawn. If you haven’t guessed by now, there was no character development whatsoever. A million promising characters came and went, shallow as a saucer. Yep, flattest characters ever. Kristen Stewart is either a terrible actress, or the director should be shot. Based on the other performances, I’m voting for the director’s demise. Stewart’s only expression seems to be “sexy-deer-caught-in-headlights”. She barely said fifteen words until the end of the movie, when she gave the most uninspiring war soliloquy I’ve ever heard. The writers really need to read more Shakespeare. Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman was horrible. Normally my brain isn’t the body part engaged when he’s on screen, but even my hormones couldn’t overcome the wooden emotions and stilted dialogue. Charlize Theron fought back against the poor direction. If only the movie had been focused on her, I might have enjoyed it.
Final battle? Stupid and perplexing. Suddenly the writers were channeling Joan of Arc, with Snow White in armor riding into battle. Too bad she doesn’t know how to do anything but stab someone in the heart. Good thing she’s a good rider though, because she was the only ‘warrior’ without a helmet. Guess she was worried that helmet-hair would spoil her ‘fairest of them all’ designation? And the fight with the queen would have been over a lot sooner if the dratted huntsman had taught her more than ‘stab heart’.
The movie dragged on and on and on. The guy ahead of us was texting away and for once I wasn’t annoyed. I actually felt for the guy. I seriously wanted to take my phone out and start playing Angry Birds or something. Stay home. Or go watch The Avengers for the tenth time.