Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cinema Babble: When the Baddie Steals The Show

The Flick: Snow White and the Huntsman

The Peeps: Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Stewart, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Ray Winstone, etc.

The Dealio: OK, for those unacquainted with the very scary fairy tale, here goes: Snow White (Stewart) is the princess in a very dicey household. First mum gets sick and dies, then dad falls under the spell-literally- of Ravenna, a power- , youth- and beauty-obsessed woman of incredible hatred and vanity. For reasons we are meant to understand, even empathise with (which), she has a deadly, and I do mean deadly, vendetta against all men. Except her very creepy bro. Having gotten the duped king to fall for and marry her, Ravenna assassinates him on their wedding night and then- going strictly against character- allows Snow White to live. True, she does isolate her in a tower, where SW sees no one except her jailers. But she still grows up into, well, a battle-hardened Kristen Stewart. Having figured a way out of her cell and into the enchanted forest- where all fear to tread, save she, SW next rallies a band of eight- not seven- dwarves  and various forces of nature. Object?  To make an end-run on the queen, dispatch her and her like and bring sunshine and birdsong back into the kingdom. Well, Ravenna is having none of that, realising that, in order to remain young and beautiful and in power, she must snatch SW's beating heart from her chest and devour it. With this in mind, she managed to locate the one man who, alone, has no fear of the forest, nor reason to remain among the living. The Hunstman (Hemsworth, again, making the most of hand tools), having lost everything of value, decides that, he will get SW back for Ravenna, upon the condition that the duplicious queen bring his wife back to life. Ravenna agrees, but has no intention of doing so. But I think you must have seen that one coming, no? Alrighty, then. Off to the enchanted woods we hie.

The Grading Session: 4.73 pengies out of 5. Stewart was the short pole in the tent, not convincing as either the fully grown sweetie pie nor as the Joan-of-Arc-esque maid of battle.  That's fine, though, as Hemsworth (with whom Stewart has scant chem) and Theron have charisma and swash to spare. I must say that if the effects and the costumes on this one don't take a prize or two, I will be stunned. The breath-taking scene where Ravenna morphs from a crone to a flock of, well, ravens, to a slough of oily residue, to a silk, satin, feather and velvet gown-wearing virago is in-effin'-credible. And so is her over-the-top performance.

Lessons Learned: Say it with me: if the sitch seems too good to be true....just walk away, Rene. Oh, yeah, and this: if a person has just threatened to kill you, then offers you a great deal (of money, power or promises), please see the above sentence for instructions. Follow them.

Notable Quotables: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?

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