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Snow White Thoughts

I wanted to see SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN because the director is someone my manager is interested in for a movie Ian Tregillis and I wrote based on his amazing Milkweed triptych.  Rupert Sanders is an extraordinary director, his work reminded me of Pan’s Labyrinth in its visual beauty, luscious textures and horror, but the script was a mess.  I should have known when I saw the two “ands” between the three writer’s names.  Never a good sign when a studio just keeps bringing in new writers.

So, what went wrong?  Basic problem they had no idea what story they were telling.  It ricochetted back and forth between being an adventure story about a princess regaining her throne and a love story with a triangle at the heart of it.  Which meant I never committed to Snow White getting back her throne, or to which man she would pick.   Because the writers didn’t know what story they were telling the ending was totally flat which meant I kinda ended up not caring.

As good as Sanders is with beautiful visuals his direction of his actual human actors was less impressive.  I would like to hope that Sanders didn’t direct Charlize Theron to chew the scenery quite so much.  I hope that was an academy award winner doing what she wanted, because it was over-the-top.  Yes, she’s evil.  I sort of got that when she killed the king on their wedding night and then ate birds’ hearts off her long claw-like nail applique.

Our Snow White was pretty, but fairly insipid and I just couldn’t picture her inspiring anyone to rise up.  And then all the characters keep telling me how she was special and she was magical, and she was going to restore the land, but I had no idea why she was all of these things other than the fact she was pretty and the king’s daughter.  Why was she, alone, going to be able to kill the queen?  Other people stabbed the woman, and she didn’t die.  Why could Snow White stab her and have it stick — so to speak?  And if the queen could turn into stud William why didn’t she do that right from the beginning, and hunt down Snow instead of sending large brutal men on horseback to chase after her?  I know, they hand waved at that, about how Snow was in the Very Nasty, Rather Unpleasant Forest and supposedly the queen couldn’t use her power in the VNRUF, but why couldn’t she?  I thought her evilness why was the land was so blighted.

Also the lake village of scarred women baffled me.  It seems the queen needed virgins so why were the mothers scarred?  And the queen seemed to just be eating the youth and life essence from the women.  Why exactly did they need to be virgins?  Bottom line — the magic didn’t have an internal consistency.  It changed depending on the needs of any given scene.

And here I’m going to break with my usual stance that I like happy endings.  Given what they set up in the beginning and kept telling me throughout the movie Snow really needed to die.  The queen’s blood had blighted the land.  It seemed like Snow’s blood should have been required to restore it.

There was a “give the Wookie a medal” scene at the end of the movie, and the two studs standing there, and her looking significantly between them, and then the movie was over, and I was left dissatisfied, very much feeling that the movie hadn’t actually ended.  Okay, Snow’s queen, though that didn’t seem to be the point at the beginning of the film — restoring the land seemed to be the theme, but instead of seeing flowers and green grass and frolicking fairies, and the spirit of the forest stag all restored we had a rather dull coronation scene, and no resolution on the boy front.

My final take away, beautiful to look at, rather boring over all.

And they didn’t tell me which stud she picked so I couldn’t even feel like the romance had been settled.  Bottom line.  It’s a feast for the eyes, with a disappointing script.

6 Responses to Snow White Thoughts

  • Michael says:

    Your problem with the scarred women was the same as mine, only my girlfriend pointed out that one of the villagers made the comment that the Queen was obsessed with beauty as well, and would leave them alone if they scarred themselves. I enjoyed it for matinee price but I would never have forgiven myself if I’d paid full price.

  • Syd Henderson says:

    I thought the ending was intended to be like Roman Holiday; even if she loves the Huntsman she can’t marry a commoner.

  • Melindas says:

    I agree, Syd, but that’s a whole different story, and they didn’t tell me that story. They gave me this hybrid that was neither fish nor fowl.

  • Melindas says:

    Your girlfriend makes an interesting point, Michael. But again, the problem is that they obviously hadn’t thought through the magic system. It seemed like the queen just developed a power whenever she needed one. Magic without limitations just becomes a plot device, and isn’t very interesting.

  • I haven

  • Melindas says:

    No problem on the geeking. I do it all the time. The only thing good in Judge Dredd Stallone version was I saw Sandra Bullock, and said to my (then) husband — that girl is going to have a big career.

    If Snow White was Stewart acting well — well, god help us and I’ll never see any of the Twilight movies.

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