Fairy tale films experienced a bit of a renaissance in the 2010s. And this fantasy film also gives a well-known story a dark touch.
2012 was the year of the Snow White remakes. Above all, Kristen Stewart proved in “Snow White and The Huntsman” that one can modernize dusty fairy tales. In this Snow White adaptation, the fierce princess takes her destiny into her own hands – even if she still has a man (Chris Hemsworth as the hunter) at her side and the prince (Sam Claflin) also doesn’t let herself be stopped, who comes to the aid of her beloved to rush. But in the remake, that on Netflix and Amazon Prime can be seen, Snow White frees herself from a number of stereotypes – although by no means from all of them. The most noticeable change is that the fairy tale takes on a combative and gloomy note. It is no coincidence that its design is reminiscent of the blockbuster “Alice in Wonderland” from 2010, because the same producer is behind the fairy tale adaptations: Joe Roth. In addition, the visual design of the Snow White remake is based on the “Lord of the Rings” films, so it has a lot to offer for fantasy fans.
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Snow White can break free from some stereotypes
Not only the atmosphere, but also the story of the fairy tale gets an update. We all know the fairy tale of the naïve and helpless Snow White, who owes her survival to the compassionate heart of the hunter, the gnomes and ultimately his prince charming. That stopped when Kristen Stewart slipped on Snow White’s combat boots. Although the makers of the film initially rather lesser-known actress in the leading role wanted to stick, the “Twilight” star was able to get the role.
The dark plot is told quickly: A black sorceress uses a trick and her beauty to get hold of the kingdom of Snow White’s father. After years in prison, Snow White is able to escape thanks to her energy and the help of animal friends. She arrives in the enchanted forest, where the queen’s power is ineffective. Without further ado, the sorceress sends the hunter, whom she lures with a false promise, on the trail of the escaped princess. A breathless escape and chase follows with not a few moments of surprise and many battle scenes. Until the big fight between the two women is imminent.
Snow White in a different way – but somehow not
Like Joan of Arc, Snow White storms the castle towards the end of the film to fight for her kingdom – definitely not the Snow White we know from the Brothers Grimm. And yet the film cannot free itself from all stereotypes, because men still ride and fight at their side. And that against an evil queen, who fulfills a misogynist cliché in the classic manner: that of the evil stepmother who strives forever for beauty – because what else do women have to offer? – and is also a sorceress aka a witch. But there is also an innovation here, because the character is given a little more depth than in the original fairy tale. The reason for the evil doings of the queen lies in her past: As a child, she was kidnapped by a king, who took her as his wife against her will.
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That makes “Snow White and The Huntsman” our TV tip
Snow White’s pugnacity, the depth of the evil stepmother’s character, and also the village full of women who mutilate their faces to escape danger from the Queen – these are all moments that show that Snow White can be more than just a victim who survives through sheer luck and lots of male help. Unfortunately, the filmmakers miss their chance to steer the film in a bolder, emancipated direction. This is particularly evident in the kissing scene, which occurs twice in “Snow White and the Huntsman” and shows no concern if a woman who is not sane is simply kissed without consent. But the beginnings are there and Snow White’s newly developed fighting spirit alone is reason enough to let the gloomy fairytale world distract you for two hours.
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