Friday, June 1, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

Written by Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini

Directed by Rupert Sanders

My husband was more enthused than me anticipating for this movie. I guess because of all the Snow White movies that came out, it’s good to have a comparison. Partly because of Charlize Theron, in one of her interviews, she mentioned about her curiosity in the origins of wickedness, so here goes a review in lieu to power. 

My first reaction stepping into the theater was, “I hope I don’t fall asleep.” Low and behold, I said it out loud and a dood that looks like Einstein said, "I hope not." Hubby thought that was funny!

I am mostly interested in all the evil witches I have seen in movies such as Mirror Mirror played by Julia Roberts, Dark Shadows played by Eva Green, and Snow White and the Huntsman played by Charlize Theron. By the way, I will refer Julia Robert’s character in Mirror Mirror by her real name since she is only referred to as “The Queen.” I will also do the same referring Kristen Stewart and Lily Collins by their real names who played Snow Whites in those movies. When it comes to beauty, we have Ravenna, who owns her beauty, Roberts who owns vanity, and Angelique who actually never put much emphasis on beauty, so props to her.

Ravenna used her beauty to rule over numerous kingdoms, Robert ruined her own Kingdom due to vanity, and Angelique is basically an ugly character because she made her prey her slave. What they have in common is being the biggest fish in the sea. But being a big fish comes with a big price tag. They all ended up living a  miserable life.

Now, I think Ravenna and Roberts both understood that love is a two way street and most importantly, not only are people capable of choosing them to love, they too can choose, but to them, love never took the front seat. Ravenna married the most powerful man, killed him, and then took over his kingdom. Roberts married the king for his money to support her vanity and then turned him into a dragon. Although Angelique only locked up Barnabas in the casket and didn’t kill him, she basically made him immortal and locked him up forever. I suppose that’s why we elect our presidents who can bring better choices for the people other than death, death, or death?

The difference amongst how these evil people came to power is pretty similar yet different. Ravenna was born poor, repressed, and powerless. Her environment made her the way she is. But she knew what she is capable of. She just needed to do summon it. Roberts was born evil and knew herself well, so being evil runs in her blood. She only needed to hide how evil she really is. With Angelique, although she was born evil, it didn’t matter whether or not she knew it. All she cared about is her own wants and needs. She wants both love and power. Whether or not that is possible is up for debates. But her desires make her a dictator. It also forces people to kill her off in order to survive.  The saying goes…. Insane people keep doing the same things hoping for a different result. If you cannot tell, I think Angelique is a bit of a loony.

Now comparing Snow White in Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, I think Kristen Stewart played a more powerful character compared to Lily Collins.  I would say Collins is more conniving in getting people to fight her fight. Both Snow Whites can defend themselves; however, Collins used her kindness to manipulate people to do her shit. Stewart used her entitlement as the princess, understood people’s repression, and use people opposition to the queen as her power to rally up an army. She's basically the quite until taunted type. I remember at the end of the movie, she had this awkward look like she's about the say something epic but nothing came out of her mouth.  I suppose the difference is that Collins can make people risk their lives for her a lot more willingly while Kristen Steward is requiring actions from people based on their own free will. Difference is, people can withdraw their help with Stewart anytime, while you also risk a relationship with Collins. Collins is more of the sit there and look pretty type. But she is completely able to kick ass, but rather sit there and be lazy.  It's a lot more fishy. But how much can Collins put on the table? Doesn't seem like a lot.  I suppose during the time of war, Kristen would be more powerful. But during peaceful time, I can see people swimming to Collins. That's when Collins get all the power. 

Stewart is a better fighter but she cannot act.  Collins also cannot act.  Stewart definitely has a better presence that captures an audience a lot faster. Although in real life, it’ll take much longer period for anyone to successfully even arrange a riot, but hey, anything is possible in the movies. Using kindness is not realistic either. But we can see the tradeoff to get people to work is to bring something more positive into people’s lives and not just crap. 

Perhaps Robert’s character believed that  destroying is easy but you can never push people too far. That way, she can keep poisoning her prey and keep her agenda going.  But her downfall is the truth and you can only keep the toilet lid closed for so long before it reeks of bad odor.  But even if you unmask her, the truth only makes life a lot harder for her henchman. So it is probably easier for them to fake like they don't know. But of course there are also those scum bags who recognize goodness but loves ruining people because their happiness is relative to how much people suffer. It's almost like a blockage technique competitive people use to throw people in a loop. Being a badass like Ravenna will only have people rebel against her in no time.

Ravenna plays solo. As much as her own brother was on her side, at the end, she didn’t save her own kind when it comes to risking her benefits over saving her own brother. I think Roberts treats her henchmen a lot better. Just for fun, if you had to work for an Evil Queen, and there is now way out, who would you choose? 

With Evil, it seems to be balanced out by Goodness. The more evil something is, the more strength goodness will harness. So is being neutral really that bad? Or should one just go big or go home?  I have come to the conclusion, that power is really stupid. Look at certain rich people who spend all their time harassing people who mention them in a negative light. As much money as they have, they just to use their power to suppress people who talk smack about them. At the end, they are only slaves to people’s criticism. They want it all, just like all those evil queens. But because they cannot tolerate a little irritation, it creates a much larger mess than just leaving people alone.

As with the movie, I would rank them as the following.

Snow White and the Huntsman
Mirror Mirror
Dark Shadows

I wouldn’t say this movie is way awesome or a must see, but at least you get great costumes. Ravenna‘s dresses are far more glamorous than Roberts’. You also get more action, better scenery, and better acting. Although it is played in more realistic setting, Ravenna did over acted by a lot.  In acting, you do have to go big or go home but going too dramatic is an overkill. But minus her acting skills, no doubt, she does have the most powerful role.  Julia Robert wasn't that evil either, so you cannot really she did a great job performing that role. But after all, Mirror Mirror is more tailored to kids.

Snow White and the Huntsman has a lot of scenes that aren’t too coherent. They seem to have carelessly put it in just for CGI purposes. It’s like a “look what I can do” movie, which doesn’t care for the audience’s entertainment purposes. Come on now. If you want to make money for a movie, care for the audience’s experience and stop showing off what is just a repeat of what other movies have done. Doing a buy one get one free delio for a movie is kind of silly. If I want to appease my senses, I could have watched Avatar. You cannot beat it in that arena. But I suppose I can see this is harmless if the maker of the movie doesn't care for the bottom line and perfection. But I suppose the people who do care are investors, critics, and people like me who wants to watch something awesome.

I’m not sure about how I feel about this movie. Now in between this movie, I went to the bathroom once. It wasn't interesting enough to hold my bladder. It’s not a movie that will draw your heart, attention, and emotions. Stewart needs a bit more work when it comes to acting, the story needs to be a bit more coherent instead of randomly putting in cool scenes just because the idea seems cool, and I think the cast need better chemistry.