Whether they were read, seen or told to us; fairy tales are stories that have stayed with us from our childhood. Who did not want to be a princess or a prince when they were a little kid? I was convinced that when I grew up; one day, I would swoop in and rescue who would become the love of my life. There was something about fairy tales that not only gave me a sense of hope; they provided me with an outlet to let my imagination grow and explore new passageways through my mind. Right from the beginning of this movie, I felt a kinship with writer and director Pablo Berger (Torremolinos). Using the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as a foundation, Pablo took the story and pushed it towards a dark, humorous, creative drama; that was a visual masterpiece. Some of you know I was not a fan of the silent film The Artist. Where I thought it was more of a gimmick for that movie; in this one, I absolutely loved the silence of no spoken words. The soundtrack came to the forefront to steer the story to some incredible heights. Set in Spain during the 1920’s; famous bullfighter Antonio Villalta, played by Daniel Gimenez (Bad Education, A Painting Lesson), had a beautiful daughter named Carmen. There was only one person who did not like the young girl and that was her evil stepmother Encarna, played by Maribel Verdu (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Blind Sunflowers). The richness of this black and white film only increased the enormous screen power of Maribel. This Oscar nominated movie was magical to me; I had no sense of time passing and felt I was taken to a different world. Absolutely beautiful to watch, I am willing to say this film will become a modern classic. Spanish with English subtitles.
Having an aunt who was a sergeant in the Women’s Army Corps, I am familiar with what makes up a strong woman. My friends were always scared of her, because she would make them give her a solid handshake. Putting a different spin on the Snow White story; the writers of this action film created a strong Snow White, played by Kristen Stewart (Twilight franchise, The Runaways). This Snow White was a fighter; determined to reclaim her right to the throne after escaping imprisonment by the Queen, her step mother. The problem I had with this was the casting of Kristen. She did not convey the strength expected for such a role and it was due to her acting ability. I found her doing the same character as Bella in Twilight. A better actress would have made this movie more exciting; I found myself getting bored in parts. It was especially noticeable since the evil Queen Ravenna was so wickedly played by Charlize Theron (Monster, Young Adult). It looked like Charlize relished her role as she was the dominant figure out of the cast. In addition, there was Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers, The Cabin in the Woods) as the Huntsman who was sent by the Queen to hunt down Snow White in the Dark Forest. Chris did an admirable job with his character, being the tough yet sensitive man of the movie. The film was beautiful to watch, enhanced with great special effects. Though I liked the idea behind the story, I was underwhelmed by the execution of it. This movie needed someone like my aunt to make it better.
2 2/3 stars