ariad: (btvs // go hand in hand)
[personal profile] ariad
Spoiler-free reaction: It was all right. It is definitely one of the most gorgeous movies I have ever seen, encompassing mise-en-scene, visual effects, cinematography, actors (Charliiiiiize~), make up, and costumes (Colleen Atwood + gunmetal = aaaaaah!). And though logic is sometimes sacrificed for beauty and the character development left me wanting, the story isn't too bad. In fact, I love the very last scene and have only four problems with the movie (listed under the cut), and if those four problems were fixed, and most of them are easy fixes, I think the movie could be really good. Trouble is, those four problems are not going to be fixed and so I can only consider the movie to be mediocre at best.

Verdict: Watch it for the eyegasm, which may be worth it by itself. Don't watch it if you are immune to beauty. Also don't pay more than $12. Don't watch a cam or a low- to medium-quality stream because beauty is the main thing this movie has going for it.

My four problems with the movie: (contains spoilers)

1. Logic is sacrificed for beauty. Why do the dwarfs bring Snow White to Sanctuary if it doesn't have any kind of magical protection? Why does Snow White wander off into the snowy woods by herself when she knows she is being hunted? For most of the movie, this didn't bother me too much because I could just ignore it or make up my own reasons, but when Snow White began reciting what sounded like cryptic poetry as a speech to rouse her army, I couldn't take it. I don't know what her speech meant. I don't know how her listeners would know what her speech meant. How was that speech to inspire anybody to fight? Sometimes, simpler is better. Take a leaf out of Joss Whedon's book, Snow White and the Huntsman writers. His speeches aren't pretty, but they're moving as fuck.

2. It is assumed that the audience likes Snow White. And all right, I do like her because she is shown to be compassionate, resourceful, conscientious, and brave, but she isn't given many scenes in which she gets to be endearing or in which her individuality shines. (Or maybe that's what the dolls and the dancing were supposed to be, but I wasn't sold on the execution.) She's a filled-out checklist of virtues with a nice heaping of suffering, but that won't make her anybody's favorite character. And when the dwarfs decide in Sanctuary that they're going to follow Snow White, I felt as if I should want to follow her, too, but I just didn't.

3. Snow White's character arc is way too nebulous. Another problem highlighted by the dwarfs' decision to follow Snow White: follow her to do what? We can assume from the direction of the movie that she is going to defeat the evil queen, but she herself has not made it her mission at this point. She has only asked the huntsman to help her and bring her to Duke Hammond, which could easily be about saving her own life. After she wakes up at Duke Hammond's place, she suddenly has purpose and a mission. Why? We don't see her turn from escapee to soldier. We just see her in one state and then the other.

4. Snow White is portrayed as stereotypically pure and kind. I wouldn't have much of a problem with this if she didn't say so sympathetically to the queen, "You can't have my heart." No shit, Snow White. No shit. That line would only have worked with a lion's heart behind it. All I can think is that the writer and the director were not on the same page because what.

The one thing that I really wish the movie had is one more scene (or ten more scenes) between Snow White and the huntsman, in which they develop their relationship, the huntsman teaches Snow White to be a warrior (while regaining his own sense of self-worth), and Snow White realizes that she must defeat the evil queen and restore her kingdom. But, you know, the movie isn't bad. Gus' martyrdom is done very well. Charlize is spectacular (although I always prefer quiet intimidation to yelling). Hemsworth made me cry. And I love that there is no kiss at the end, no "oh, Huntsman, now come be my king," just that mutual look across the room that lets the audience know they're grateful for each other and teases a future relationship. That's how I wish a certain children's cartoon had ended. *cough*

edit: J/K I thought of another that is kind of a huge problem. Can we have less of the Madonna-whore dichotomy, please? It turns a potentially feminist movie into a decidedly not feminist one.

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September 2016

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