Before its release everyone kept saying how SWaTH was going to be better than Mirror, Mirror and, after the release, there were mixed reactions. My reaction is not mixed (and no, it's not because I'm a sucker for Lily Collin's eyebrows). Simply put, this film was an hour too long.The way it was advertised, I expected more. I expected an epic. Where Mirror, Mirror was funny and silly, this film was a melodramatic bore. I sometimes got the feeling it took itself too seriously.
As a reviewer wrote, "the odyssey from darkness to light is unduly long and sloggy." Perhaps it was the lack of dialogue. If you are going to have a movie that depends hugely upon non-verbal interaction between characters and other characters and characters and their environment, then you better have a hell of a cast. Which brings me to my next point: acting.
As pointed out, there were a lot of things wrong with this film but the biggest glaring one was the difference in the level of acting. "At the top, you have Charlize Theron [protraying] an intimidating, powerful villain...Unfortunately, at the bottom, is Kristen Stewart..."
She tried. She really did (you can almost see the veins popping) but it just was not working. She was uncomfortable and stiff, making all her character's movement seem forced. I found her particularly boring.
I have an hypothesis: I think it's due to her face. She has a very awkwardly set face, like that of Tyler (scott) in Teen Wolf. It makes it hard to express and convey emotions. Except Tyler is a more convincing actor (and he doesn't do the breathing thing), where-as Ms. Kirsten makes me want to roll my eyes and scoff. So she might just be an horrible actress except that she was amazing in Speak and Catch that Kid. It's her acting as an adult that leaves much to be desired. The directing has to be blamed too, but more on that later.
It seems she has a go-to hat filled to the brim with computer generated stock expressions: "[b]lank stare with tilt of head=concern; blank stare with mouth slightly opened=shock; blankstare with slight squint=sadness..."
I think she works hard. Unfortunately, having a strong work ethic means nothing if she doesn't have the talent to back it. No one wants to sit and watch the two hour equivalent of a cat dragging its blunt nails across his/her brain, unless he/she has masochistic tendencies.
"Watching Kristen try to rally a kingdom is one of the more embarrassing things to see on film." It was the most awkward, misplaced, non-inspiring speech ever. I felt so sorry for her.
Charlize Theron was fantastic but suffers a bit due to the directing. I truly enjoyed her as Ravenna. She commanded the stage. Every time I am about to slip into" La-La-why-is-this-dragging?" land, they show her and I snap to attention.The best moments are when she's whispering. The way she drags the words as if pulling back an arrow, aiming, and releasing it to rest its shaft in your heart. It's only after the deed is done that you realize you have an arrow. Buried. In your heart. By then it's too late. It's when she screams or shouts that the moment loses some of that enchantment.
Chris Hemsworth settled into his role. It was nothing major. He wasn't fantastic, he was okay. This movie was all about Charlize Theron and she owned it.
And to answer your question: Yes! But I'm not in the acting business. And yes, she is probably laughing all the way to the bank. She'll need that money later when she's no longer marketable and barely living off royalties.
Another thing, this films suffers because of the directing. While the scenery is beautiful and the graphic breath-taking, the human characters are left to wander on their own, as if put into the scene at the last moment.
The film was nearly two hours long yet it felt like not enough time was spent on character development. I did not connect with the characters the way I wanted to. I felt like both the director and writer were playing off the audience's existing feelings about Snow White, offering nothing new to the story. Take Kirsten Kreuk's Snow White, she barely said a whole paragraph throughout the movie but you felt her innocence and naivety. Lily Collin's Snow White has a fluidity to her that endears the viewers to her: she's naive but isn't stupid and she learns fast. Don' t get me started on OUAT: that show is just bad-arse.
I really was not feeling the chemistry between Snow White and the Huntsman. Occasionally, you'll get a glimpse (mostly because the camera moves back and forth between them to highlight the cliched I-think-I-might-be-falling-for-you side-way glances) but not enough to solidify anything. It wasn't subtle or obvious, it was just written. When he kissed her I asked myself, "when did they fall in love?" I was sure I must have missed something. I guess it was slightly before he had to kiss her to wake her.
About an hour into this movie I realized something: Kirsten Stewart repulses me. It was during that scene when the dwarf died and they showed a close-up of her face. I got that crawling feeling down my spine and jumped backwards. I'm not talking about her as a person or whatever indiscretions she may have or have not committed (I'm of the school of "Let (s)he who is without sin throw the first stone") but I'm not feeling this magnetic attraction she allegedly invokes in people. Maybe I'm of the minority here but it's just not happening. That's not to say that she's not beautiful because she is. I just don't feel any magnetism.
I know when to give credit where credit is due. This film was visually stunning if nothing else.
At best, SWaTH is pretty but forgettable. At worst, it's hollow and poisoned by mediocrity. "There may have been a really good film somewhere here if the casting director had been sober when he started making calls."
Like its soundtrack stated: this film needed a breath of a life. Unfortunately, Kirsten Stewart and Rupert Sanders were not it. That idea of a dark twist on the classic fairy tale intrigued me but this movie was too poorly executed.
This is all the more tragic because the film has so much potential that is not carried through. They are making another one but I'm not holding my breath.
Not really my cup'a tea because I barely finished it the first time...even with Charlize Theron's incredible acting and Kirsten Stewart's famed magnetic attractiveness.
As I've always stated, this is just my opinion. You may let it influence you, you may not. Also, I don't hate or dislike Ms. Stewart. I don't know her personally enough to and--even if I did--I wouldn't waste my energy on such a time consuming, negative emotion. I know she could do better. So much better!