Wickedest of Them All

This is a fairy tale for grown-ups. The Brothers Grimm have been the mainstay for so many bedtime stories for so many generations,that to suddenly have one of their most beloved tales made so grim is a surprise

Written by Shubhra Gupta | Published: June 2, 2012 1:52 am

Snow White and the Huntsman

DIRECTOR: Rupert Sanders

CAST: Charlize Theron,Kristen Stewart,Chris Hemsworth,Sam Claflin

Rating: **1/2

This is a fairy tale for grown-ups. The Brothers Grimm have been the mainstay for so many bedtime stories for so many generations,that to suddenly have one of their most beloved tales made so grim is a surprise.

Snow White and the Huntsman has the princess almost always in grave peril,the dwarves take their own sweet time to arrive on the scene,and the prince…Hold,I am getting ahead of myself. What you take away from this dark film,filled with several twisted characters and twisty turns,is a great deal of nicely-crafted atmosphere,and a terrific performance from Charlize Theron as the evil stepmother.

That should be the Evil Stepmother,capital E capital C,because Theron has raised the bar for all wicked stepmoms to come. As the woman wronged,who becomes the Queen and turns into a vengeful monster,she imbues each scene with malice and,this is what makes it so interesting,pain. She does what she does,not because she likes to,but because she appears to have no alternative,even when she is sucking the marrow out of young girls in order to keep forever youthful.

Snow White (Stewart),whom she has kept captive all these years,is the one who is fairest of them all. So says the Magic Mirror. She is also the only one who can best the Queen. The kingdom,brought to ruin,is waiting for a saviour,and when Snow White does arrive,she has with her an army,and two brave men,both who have feelings for her. Prince Williams (Claflin) who was a childhood companion and who fled with his father,leaving Snow White behind,and a burly,surly Huntsman (Hemsworth) who is a new entrant in the tale,and who starts to like her only after a prolonged chase through the Dark Forest where no sane man is willing to venture.

This is the self-same Kristen Stewart of those Twilight movies wherein she consorts with good looking vampires. Here she’s up against a blood-sucking diva of a very high order of magnitude,and comes off second. The men fight and scowl,and every time they have the screen to themselves,the film turns drab. It is the women who show them the way,and keep things ticking. Not just a tale for grown ups,but a sharp feminist parable. Not at all for little kids: Ms Theron is a beast with a beating heart.

SG

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