Rating – ***
Starring – Kristen Stewart
Although the second adaptation of the classic Snow White fairytale to hit cinemas this year, it’s safe to say Snow White and the Huntsman was probably more anticipated than the rather “safe” version featuring Lily Collins, Mirror Mirror. This is well deserved, despite the rather odd combination of having both a first-time director and a hefty budget. Although at first skeptical on that account, Huntsman delivers what it says on the label: this is a darker and edgier telling of the tale, complete with a wonderful villian in the form of Charlize Theron, and some suitably moody Florence & the Machine peppering its dramatic soundtrack.
Snow White (Kristen Stewart), although imprisoned by her stepmother Ravenna, for her youth and beauty as in the traditional tale, is here a much stronger match to her rival, having been trained by the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and unwilling to play the naive, helpless girl. Indeed, in the two lead female roles, Theron and Stewart leave little room for the male characters, although Hemsworth’s performance has shining moments well worth noting.
Although the film is let down at times by awkward pacing and rushed, confused scripting, Theron’s performance and the cinematography make this a solid debut for newcomer Rupert Sanders. As the Evil Queen, she the conveys cruelty simmering below the surface of her poise, whilst also providing some believable motive and dimension to her character’s obsession with beauty and power.