Friday, July 6, 2012

Movies: Snow White and the Huntsman

If you want to learn about the dark side of human nature you should read the fairy tales collected by the Brother`s Grimm. The story compilation tells a lot about betrayal, homicide, turf war and other human abysses.

The movie "Snow White and the Huntsman" is based on one of the most famous stories in this anthology and relates the sinister message of its origins (imdb). The film is a tale about jealousy, greed, power trips and other vices and represents a sharp contrast to Disney´s sugary "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and the funny Julia Roberts vehicle "Mirror, Mirror".

The newest "Snow White" movie is also a statement of women`s liberation. The film shows two strong women who are fighting for dominance and are both trying to control the world around them. Charlize Theron impresses as the evil queen, who combines her cold beauty with malice. I enjoyed watching how this powerful sorceress uses her dark magic in her attempts to gain immortality.

Kristen Stewart, as her victim and rival "Snow White", was the perfect counterpart. The rising Hollywood star showed that she is much more than a vampire kid ("Twilight" ). Kristen is really eye candy with aplomb and played convincingly, how the haunted princess evolves into a kind of Joan of Arc.

The medieval fantasy spectacle benefited a lot from the fireworks of special effects which were cutting edge. The end titles show a sheer endless list of visual effect designers and other engineers of the modern cinema (imdb).  But none of the computer generated imagery (CGI) was redundant. The employment of a huge digital arsenal created a gothic world full of magic which was partly beautiful and partly disturbingly bleak. The digitally created Dark Forest and its counterpart, the realm of the fairies, played an important role in the film either as a cursed place or as an enchanted habitat with their own rules.

Some of the best special effects were stealth. The band of dwarfs was played by Bob Hoskins and other well named actors who were literally given head for these roles. The special effect wizards transmuted their faces digitally onto smaller bodies, adopting a technique David Fincher and his team used for creating the Winklevoss twins in "Social Network".

Director Rupert Sanders, a newcomer on the canopy of Hollywood, rewarded the movie studios - which entrusted him with a budget of $170 million - and gave a peek into his rich talents (  Sanders could define cinema in the coming years as Stanley Kubrick did in the 60s (2001: A Space Odysee) and Ridley Scott around 10 years later (Alien, Blade Runner).

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