If you were expecting Snow White and the Huntsman to be a largely cheerful and sunny adaptation of the Grimm fairytale, you’re in for a surprise; director Rupert Sanders has done wonders in delivering a dark, disturbing version to his audience with this thriller. But what Sanders has failed to do, however, is breathe life into Kristen Stewart who plays the fairest of them all.
Not only is Stewart lifeless and forgettable as Snow White, her latest release promises that the Twilight series will forever remain her spotlight moment. While Sanders may have envisioned the character as some sort of warrior princess, Stewart’s performance is weak. A scene where she delivers an emotional dialogue to her people before charging to war fails to give a single goose bump. Her acting skills, it seems, are limited to the tortured expressions that her Twilight character, Bella, wore throughout the series.
While pale and petite Stewart definitely looks the part, it seems that her styling and costume team deserve credit for that and not her talent. But actor and producer James Franco lauds her skill, and disagrees with critics when he writes for The Huffington Post:
“The images of Snow White as a leader of immense strength, charging on horseback across the beach at the head of an army, has less to do with her character and more to do with the actress who plays her.”
All has not failed for the Snow White team; Charlize Theron, who plays the malevolent Queen Ravenna, keeps the audience captivated with her chilling performance. There are no surprises that the Oscar winner has stolen the show with her predatory expressions and fantastic costumes. With her deadly talons and icy gaze, scenes where Theron mercilessly kills her subjects to remain young and immortal are a good reason to leave your kids at home when you go to watch this film. While Disney’s evil Queen was pure evil, Theron’s character has a vulnerable side, and unlike fairytales, has more depth. In an interview with Collider.com, Theron said that while she drew inspiration from Disney’s evil queen, she didn’t want to replicate that character and instead became sexy, powerful and menacing.
Theron may have had the more creative costumes — one that looked like it was made from infant bones and another of crow feathers — but Stewart got the eye candy ie Chris Hemsworth who played the drunk, uncouth huntsman.
While Theron needed no help in sending chills down one’s spine it is disappointing that Stewart had zero chemistry with the scruffy (and sexy) huntsman.
Despite a promising screenplay and a solid cast, Stewart fails to make any impact; Snow White and the Huntsman is destined to be famed for its villainous queen.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2012.