No other fairytale has as many varieties, offers so many liberties for interpretation and was made into a movie as often as “Snow White”. This year alone there are 2 movies in cinema and one on DVD (Snow White – A Deady Summer). Mirror, Mirror was a grandly equipped movie from Tarsem Singh with Julia Roberts as queen and Lily Collins as Snow White. Now the second version, Rupert Sanders directing debut, promises to be darker than the rather light version from Singh.
The Huntsman in the new movie is not some pitiful ranger with the royal licence to kill, but a lousy captive, that is brought before the evil Queen because he has no srucple and knows the dark forest. Nobody ever really returns alive from the dark forest but the Queen wants to be sure with Snow White. The huntsman, that is accompanied by evil, royal troops, has no qualms about stealing the “escaped prisoner’s” heart.
Soon he manages to find the distraught, lost Snow White, but when he pushes her against a tree, he can’t kill her. The royal troops are ready to do it for him, but he’s faster and fights his forced-allies. He flees with Snow White, even though they suddenly have to fight a horrible creature as well.
Shortly afterwards the two walk right into a trap and seven not really trusting-looking, dwarfs present themselves and stare at the skin white as snow, lips red as blood and hair black like ebony – or in this case you should probably say: the sweating, dirty woman that’s hanging on a tree.
This we already know from the fairytale, but we find ourselves in the century of powerful women und this Snow White is just as similar to the original Snow White as she is to Xena, Catwoman or Babydoll. She’s not interested in making beds, doing the dishes or emptying the nightly pots for some dwarfes, but is trained by the not unattractive Huntsman to be a real Amazon. One day not far from now Snow Fight is supposed to end the hard rule that the evil Queen has enslaved the whole country with. And still, this killer tomboy can be stopped with a poisoned apple from the hand of some old woman…
Snow White and the Huntsman is dark fantasy at its best, a terrific mixture of action, drama and fantasticism, a welcome relief to the dominant superheros we are presented with this year. The plot is taken from the lovely fairytale world, and set into a dark, dirty fantasy-land, that the second-most-beautiful in the country rules with an iron fist.
The evil stepmother – already brilliantly represented by Diana Rigg (1987), Sigourney Weaver (1997) and Miranda Richardson (2001) – has now turned from head to toe into Charlize Theron. Queen Ravenna is a dark magician, obsessed with youth, whose mirror first flows before her feet before it stands tall and says its lines. She uses all the power from hell to turn into Miss Dark World. Charlize Theron is captivating as Ravenna. Masochist will sink to their knees, drooling, and every Gothic- Fan will shudder pleasently because of her wonderfully evil ways.
But also Snow White knows how to kick ass. The Twilight-dammed Kristen Stewart can show what she’s capable of. That she has Rock’n’Roll in her blood she already proved in Joan Jett, and as Snow White she can pull out all the stops and turn from innocent teenager, into Scream-Queen of the forest and leader of a army, that wants to storm the dark castle.
Just the Best
What starts as a story à la The Princess Bride turns into a movie that has the creepy forest from Sleepy Hollow as well as the idyllic meadows from Legend and ends in a battle that could just as well belong in Lord of the Rings. Just that Snow White and the Huntsman adds an erotic aspect, that the Tolkien-World misses. The movie doesn’t take it as far as an old versio though, in which the prince (that in the movie is basically identical to the prince) impgnates her while she’s in the glass coffin.
Not that all of that is very obvious but like it’s supposed to be in a good fairytale, the sexual subtext is still there. Not only when the Queen bathes in a milky substance.
If Snow White dies at all and if she does, if she does, if she ends up in the glass coffin, we won’t reveal. What we will reveal though is that at the end, she wins the Huntsman’s heart, instead of leaving him hers in the beginning.