Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Bella White and the Brad Pitt Look Alike

I can't take credit for my post title, that wicked combo was a snarky comment my husband made about ten minutes into watching Snow White and the Huntsman, snapping me out of my awe and into a more critical viewing mode.

Don't get me wrong - I loved the film. Will likely purchase the DVD and re-watch it a million times - but there are lessons here. Lessons on how to mosh up tropes and iconic scenes from other films, as well as how to modernize folklore to suit changing social norms. The great mythologist, Joseph Campbell would have a field day analyzing this film. Don't know who Campbell is? If you're a writer - you should. Start here and then get some of his books and READ them.

Snow White and the Huntsman is beautiful with lush imagery, costuming, accents!, twisted lore, and wowza, Charlize Theron is quickly becoming my favourite actress. This woman stretches herself - isn't afraid to look ugly on screen or to reveal the ugliness within - as in her stark depiction of Mavis, in Young Adult, and her splendorous performance as, Ravenna, the evil queen. And yet, we've seen such sets before, of course, in Lord of the Rings and the token, Tolkien, march along a snow-capped mountain, and fantastical flora - what is it with jelly fish plant life? - as in Avatar.

The Star Wars comparisons can't go unmentioned. The dwarves tasked with lifting the castle gate and the ewoks charged with destroying a shield generator. Han Solo, I mean, the Huntsman - with a little Achilles (Brad Pitt in Troy) thrown in for good measure.

And the standout nod to George Lucas? Snow White's coronation as compared to the award ceremony in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Since Lucas based Star Wars on motifs in old Hollywood Westerns, which he considered to be the last American fairy tales, I guess this brings us full circle.

Oh, and for a truly unique spin, check out Snow White in New York, a retelling set in the Jazz era:

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