Graphic Language: None
Strong Sexual Content: None
This isn’t your mother’s Snow White. Nor your 6-year-old niece’s. It’s not even your older sister’s Mirror, Mirror released earlier this year. This might, however, be the Snow White your teenage brother and his Game of Thrones/Lord of the Rings loving friends put in their Netflix queue. Unfortunately, Snow White and the Huntsman isn’t wholly original, borrowing from iconic movies we’ve already seen: The Dementor’s kiss in Harry Potter (the way the evil Queen Ravenna obtains her youthful beauty), sweeping shots of dwarfs traversing open landscapes of countryside (think The Lord of the Rings), hallucination-inducing gas in the Dark Forest (Scarecrow’s aerosol in Batman Begins), and a Joan-of-Arc inspired, chain-mail laden Snow White sum up the adventurous take on a time-old tale.
That said, Snow White and the Huntsman has one thing going for it: a great cast. Chris Hemsworth (Thor, anyone?), Kristin Stewart (Vampires, anyone?) and Charlize Theron (Ridiculously beautiful, anyone?). The supporting cast of Bob Hoskins, Ian McShain, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, and Toby Jones as the dwarfs were incredibly enjoyable. Another character worth mentioning is Finn, the evil Queen’s brother, played creepily by Sam Spruell. The cinematography and special effects were up to the task as well, stunning in their execution and breathtaking to watch.
Unfortunately where Huntsman falls short is the story. Written by a team almost as great in number as the dwarfs themselves (5 writers collaborated on this film), Huntsman felt as piecemeal as the shattering warriors in the film. For first-time director Rupert Sanders, the plot felt action-packed but incoherent and non-cohesive. The story, unlike its predecessors, sticks closely to the original Brothers Grimm tale—which is quite a bit darker than versions you may have seen. Queen Ravenna only cares for revenge on men and her beauty—and will stop at nothing to sate both. She forces a huntsman to find and kill Snow White, but he ends up switching sides and teaming up with Snow White and the dwarfs to battle the evil Queen.
A few positive spots poke through all the malevolence: Snow White is virtuous, honorable, and true, reciting the Lord’s Prayer while empathetic toward the Queen. The Huntsman comes to care about something more than alcohol in protecting Snow White, and people band together in an effort to fight tyranny.
Huntsman earns its PG-13 rating. It’s dark, plain and simple. If you enjoy sword-swinging action, amazing special effects, and don’t really care about a story line and you’re at least a teenager, see the matinee to escape for a few mindless hours.
Snow White and the Huntsman is rated PG-13 for violent content and adult themes. Most violence is saved for the battle scenes, and while heavy on the special effects, are still nonetheless gruesome and bloody. Some scenes of the Queen restoring her beauty are grotesque (eating a bird’s heart, for example). Undertones of incest and sexuality are present in scenes with Finn, Ravenna, and Snow White. Even though Snow White prays the Lord’s Prayer in a one scene, the dark overtones are pervasive throughout Huntsman.
Watch the official trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman.
Watch the music video “Breath of Life” by Florence and the Machine from the Snow White and the Huntsman soundtrack.
Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Throughout the film Queen Ravenna is consumed with youth and beauty, while Snow White is virtuous and kind. In one of Snow White’s darker moments, she prays the prayer that Christ has taught us to pray—The Lord’s Prayer. In our present culture, we can be consumed by youth and beauty and doing whatever it takes to be thinner, prettier, or what we think is more attractive. Contrasted with that is our knowledge of how we are new creations in Christ, made beautiful in God’s image by His hands. We need to remember that our Heavenly Father created us in his image and we are all beautiful in his sight. Have you ever felt the temptations of society’s pressures of being the prettiest or the most youthful? It’s sometimes difficult to resist comparison, especially with those on the silver screen. Look to Or 1Peter 3:4 “But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.” Some questions to ponder: • How would you define ‘beautiful’? • What’s beautiful about you? • What are some ways to show others your God-given beauty?