Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Boy, did I want to like “Snow White & the Huntsman” more than I actually liked “Snow White & the Huntsman.” It wasn’t that the movie was terrible – it wasn’t. It certainly looked gorgeous. It was just that it could have been so much better. It has the DNA of a movie that is almost inborn for me to love – strong female characters, good and evil, Charlize Theron in a milk bath. And they at least tried to make Charlize more than your standard cookie-cutter evil. Evil for evil’s sake is so dreadfully dull.
No, her queen was evil with purpose – and not an entirely wrong one either. It’s true, women are unfairly judged on their beauty. And with that beauty comes power. But once that beauty fades, so does the power. Of course, we must argue with her method. Life sucking the youth and beauty out of people is, um, wrong.
But therein lies the rub-a-dub-dub. The queen’s reason for her terrible anger and terrible actions weren’t necessarily terrible. One could even call them feminist. But then she hisses, “Men use women. They ruin us and when they are finished with us, they offer us to the dogs like scraps.” So now she’s your stereotypical man-hating angry aging feminist who is also hell-bent on destroying younger, more beautiful women. Oh, dear. So many problems.
But the real problem with the film – other than the incredibly creepy naked fairy people – is Snow White herself. She’s never been the most heroic of heroines. I mean, it’s between her and Sleeping Beauty for most passive princess ever. Unconsciousness is not terribly heroic. The film’s strange mash-up of genres they made her into The One from “The Matrix” meets “Braveheart” meets “Lord of the Rings” and even perhaps a little “Avatar” for good measure. But then they never explain what makes her The One. Just because she’s “The Fairest of Them All?” Because of her white skin and red lips? Because she dates a sparkly vampire? And still she needs a big, strong man to rescue/awaken her. Sigh.
Come on, cinema. Give me a heroine I can believe in. Oh well. Let’s try again this weekend with “Prometheus,” shall we?
p.s. Though I did quite enjoy seeing Rachael Stirling. Mmm, now to rewatch “Tipping the Velvet.”