Snow White is one of the oldest fairy tales ever written. Also the one most recently turned into a feature film. Less than three months ago, in fact. Is this Universal Pictures offering better or just some carbon copy?
Snow White (played as a young woman by Raffey Cassidy) is the child of a benevolent king and a woman who died as a result of complications arising from childbirth. Despite her tragedy, however, she has a happy childhood. Then her father takes up arms against a dark army. The soldiers in that army, while capable of striking blows as fierce as any and fiercer than some, breaks like glass when struck by the enemy. With the dark army vanquished, the king inspects a carriage that survived the battle and finds a woman inside. The woman, Ravenna (played by Charlize Theron), soon marries the king who fell in love with her at first sight. She appears to have genuine affection for the king and Snow in the short period leading up to the wedding, but that is, of course, a ruse. On their wedding night, she murders her husband while her brother Finn (played by Sam Spruell) overruns the kingdom with the help of that same dark army that the king believed had kidnapped Ravenna. Snow attempts to flee, but is captured and imprisoned in the palace tower. Years pass and Ravenna maintains her beauty and youth by draining the life from young women whose beauty might one day surpass her own. Those women are identified by the queen’s mirror and chief advisor (voiced by Christopher Obi Ogugwa). When she reaches adulthood, the mirror tells Ravenna that she may maintain her youth indefinitely if she kills Snow White and takes out her heart. Snow (now played by Kristen Stewart) escapes the kingdom when the queen sends her brother to escort her.
Obviously, there’s a great deal more to the story. For example, the Huntsman has yet to be introduced. Neither, for that matter, have the dwarves. And in this film, the men portraying the dwarves are of average or above average stature made to look like dwarves through the use of special effects as opposed to men who are actually shorter than 4’10”. There are comparisons being made between this film and Mirror Mirror, but they have very little in common, outside of the main characters. If more time had passed between the release dates, they’d stand separately and they should. It’s like comparing Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood to Robin Hood: Men in Tights. I won’t say this film lived up to the hype but, given the degree, I doubt any film could’ve. I will say it’s a quality film and you should see it.