A little over two weeks after its release, I finally saw Snow White and the Huntsman. I wasn’t expecting a lot going in; I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. The movie cleaved fundamentally to the traditional Snow White story (not to be confused with the Disney animated classic circa 1937). It also extended the original story in ways that encouraged thinking long after leaving the theater.
Feeling Deja Vu
The film, starring Kristin Stewart who most moviegoers will recognize as Bella from the Twilight movies, uses several devices which echo the Twilight books and movies.
-- An apple featured early in the film may remind one of the Twilight book cover, although apples appear frequently in several versions of the Snow White legend;
-- Snow White jumps into the ocean at 0:18, mirroring Bella’s New Moon cliff diving;
-- Snow White also wanders lost in the woods, looking for help and escape, conjuring Bella’s abandonment in the woods in Twilight’s New Moon.
The evil stepmother Queen Ravenna might also be considered a vampiric entity. While she does not suck blood, she does feast on the life force of maidens, leaving them a withered husk.
All of these features could make a Twilight fan feel right at home as they view this movie.
Factors of Production
SWatH possesses a lovely, gritty feel; one can almost smell the dank of the dark forest and the salt of the ocean surrounding the castle. CGI elements are solid and appropriate to each scene; they’re unobtrusive, with the exception of the fairies. These unfortunate little creatures feel like something cropped out of Avatar, bleached and shrunken to fit SWatH. One can’t help but notice them as objects of CGI. In contrast, the troll actually feels like it is a member of the cast, albeit a very minor character.