You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Polished Edge: ‘Snow White & The Huntsman’
“Once up a time...” begins the narrator in the opening scene of this familiar tale of a beautiful young maiden with skin as fair as snow, seven dwarves, a wretched stepmother and a poisoned apple.
The story of Snow White has been around for centuries. The Brothers Grimm published it as a German folktale in the early 19th century. But it really didn’t enter the mainstream until 1937, when Walt Disney further distanced it from its dark, often disturbing Euro roots and made it into a colorful, movie-length musical cartoon.
British TV commercial and videogame director Rupert Sanders makes a solid feature-film debut at the helm of this rip-snorting new version, which restores some of the fable’s pre-Disney grit and gristle and strips decades of candy coating off its grown-up edge. It’s a far better stab at the story than the canned ham and soft cheese of “Mirror, Mirror,” this year’s earlier version starring Julia Roberts.
Charlize Theron is monstrously effective this time around as the wicked stepmother, who dispatches Snow’s father, the widower king, on their wedding night and immediately reveals her true, blood-curdling colors, staging a toxic takeover of the kingdom and imprisoning young Snow. When the young princess becomes a teenager, she escapes into the Dark Forest before she can have her beating heart served up for one of her stepmom’s black-arts beauty treatments.
As the now “of age” Snow White, Kristen Stewart shows more spunk than she ever did in the “Twlight” movies that made her famous. Tricked by the evil queen to bring her back, a drunken huntsman (Chris Hemsworth, Thor in this summer’s “The Avengers”) becomes Snow’s ally and teaches her how to fight.
The dwarf woodsmen they later come across (played partly by several recognizably “full-size” actors, including Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone and Eddie Marsan, shrunken down by digital movie hocus pocus) are no little darlings. They ensnare Snow White and the huntsman, string them up and are about to kill them before realizing she’s actually the daughter of the late, widely beloved king.
Together, their grassroots coalition sparks a revolution among the kingdom’s displaced rebels and refugees, with Snow White leading the charge against a torrent of arrows, streams of boiling oil and a battery of trebuchet-hurled fireballs.
There’s mud, blood, muck and mire, a monstrous troll, and a realistic-feeling sense that the Middle Ages weren’t a whole lot of fun to traipse around in---unless, of course, you happen be traipsing with someone like Snow White. Pixie dust and fairies swirl around her, birds are her friends, aches and pains disappear in her presence, and glowing elk deities emerge from trees to feel her caress on their snouts.
“She is life itself,” says one of the dwarves, watching her in awe.
Snow has a pretty close call toward the end, but it all works out. And when she finally gets the crown she always deserved, it’s not just a reclaiming of the throne that was rightfully hers---it’s also a return of this “grim” fairytale legend to its own deliciously dark, magically malevolent roots.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Austin’s oldest museum offers daily tours (June 22, 2016)
Dine out with The ROCK (June 22, 2016)
Esparza reunion planned for July 9 (June 22, 2016)
Free guided hikes at Enchanted Rock (June 22, 2016)
Getting your hands dirty — in the garden with Iris Seale (June 22, 2016)
Men: Pay attention to your health (June 22, 2016)
Movies in the Park (June 22, 2016)
New Pioneer Playroom offers hands-on learning (June 22, 2016)
Old newspaper makes memories ‘Local and Personal’ (June 22, 2016)
Poth church to celebrate 90 years (June 22, 2016)
See Legacy of Leadership exhibit in Washington (June 22, 2016)
SS museum plans meeting (June 22, 2016)
Tips for a safe trip to the beach (June 22, 2016)
Wall pocket (June 22, 2016)
Area seniors invited to Bingo Tuesdays (June 15, 2016)
Art Walk America contest deadline is June 23 (June 15, 2016)
Attend picnic at Dewees-Remschel House June 15 (June 15, 2016)
DRT receives honors at state convention (June 15, 2016)
Hear patriotic tunes in Pleasanton (June 15, 2016)
It’s gone! The Spot is gone! (June 15, 2016)
Join WASP for summer season (June 15, 2016)
Jubilee offers fun for the whole family (June 15, 2016)
Martinez Social Club keeps you dancing (June 15, 2016)
Meet 2016 Stockdale Watermelon Jubilee, rodeo court candidates (June 15, 2016)
Moms walking group invites members (June 15, 2016)
Napoli Glass (June 15, 2016)
Oak Hills Church plans yard sale (June 15, 2016)
Ramirezes celebrate golden anniversary (June 15, 2016)
See free movies at Arcadia (June 15, 2016)
Sutherland Springs seeks volunteers (June 15, 2016)
Vendors needed for Freedom Fest (June 15, 2016)
Witness Summer Solstice performance (June 15, 2016)
Add amphibians to your landscaping (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy free summer movies at Rolling Oaks Mall (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy Pilgrim Opry (June 8, 2016)
Gene Watson in Kerrville (June 8, 2016)
Hear ‘Bach to Luckenbach’ (June 8, 2016)
Hummel plate (June 8, 2016)
June dances in Geronimo (June 8, 2016)
Meet for Play Dates in the library (June 8, 2016)
OLPH names 2016 Mother of the Year, May Queen (June 8, 2016)
Prepare to enter cool creation in Ice Cream Freeze-off (June 8, 2016)
Remember Flag Day June 14 (June 8, 2016)
Running group plans June 11 run (June 8, 2016)
St. Ann Teen ACTS plan 5K Color Run (June 8, 2016)
Take Dad out to FatherFest June 19 (June 8, 2016)
The old Wagenfuehr house in Bleu Casa Village (June 8, 2016)
Tracking an icon in the ‘horned lizard capital of Texas’ (June 8, 2016)
Building communities (June 1, 2016)
Cowboy penknife (June 1, 2016)
Garcia receives Linda West Scholarship (June 1, 2016)
Garner State Park celebrates 75 years (June 1, 2016)
Libraries prepare to launch ‘Reading Is So Delicious!’ summer program (June 1, 2016)
Lutheran Church windows relocated for a little TLC (June 1, 2016)
St. Helena Men’s Club plans picnic (June 1, 2016)
Stockdale’s early beginnings (June 1, 2016)
The progression of the classic ‘koozie’ (June 1, 2016)