Jet lag, a temporary affliction can be cured by a two hour sojourn in a movie theatre; allowing the wizardly of the fantastical to envelop one’s imagination, easing the vicissitudes of deprived slumber; entertainment: the elixir, aphrodisiac for somnolence.
It is seventy- five years since visionary Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” stunned and captivated audiences; now in 2012 we are eons away from “Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s off to Work We Go”, but still as enchanted. Directed by Rupert Sanders “Snow Write and the Huntsman” is a twenty-first century spin on the archival tale of vengeance, jealousy, hunger for immortality and the superficial, hypnotic quest for a creaseless countenance.
The success of this visually mesmerizing scenario is the authoritative, dominating roles of Queen and Princess; light versus darkness, goodness sparring with the diabolical; stripping, emasculating, controlling male protagonists ( a formula Disney, figured out, almost a century ago), Sanders brings to fruition.
Charlize Theron as the consummate, quintessential evil Queen, “Ravenna” gives a hallmark performance; she is beautifully terrifying and special effects imbue her character with the charm of Beelzebub; the ferocity, tenacity, semblance of a dictator. A megalomaniac cloaked in exquisite, magnificent finery, a wonder of pristine loveliness, masking a magnificent menace, a bludgeoning blight upon the kingdom.
Chris Hemsworth is the bucolic, grieving “Huntsman” forced to find “Snow White” who has fled into the malevolent, mysterious forest, domicile of the seven dwarfs (successful digital shrinking adds to the delicious effects of the film); sincerity, humanness, strength and fallibility grace his characterization.
Kristen Stewart as “Snow White”, empowered, is endowed with the requisite beauty and physical attributes of our heroine but needs an injection of true grit mandatory for the transformation from “maiden” to “knight”; still, her portrayal is genuine and her rallying speech, compelling and gripping.
“Snow White and the Huntsman”, gratefully lacks the silliness of many recent renditions of timeless tales. Particularly satisfying is the absence of saccharine, harmonious, gagging love songs; a unique take on the “kiss” and a pungently powerful ending, lend intense viability and vitality to this unique and original interpretation of a fair princess in distress.
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!