Ravenna (Charlize Theron), the evil queen, has magical powers that allow her to live forever, but only if she kills the one who is lovelier than her, Snow White (Kristen Stewart). Wanting to live and be young eternally is basic to our human spirit.
The titular huntsman, (Chris Hemsworth of “Thor”), bargains to find the runaway princess, Snow White, in exchange for his dead wife’s resurrection. But even he cannot easily go into the Dark Forest, as it is such a seething caldron of creepy crawlies, all symbolizing our worst fears and nightmares. But go in he must, and there he finds the fair princess there sleeping.
But the brother of the queen is sent to follow the huntsman and kill the princess. “She can’t bring your wife back from the dead, you fool!” he says with spiteful indignation.
After learning of the ruse, the huntsman helps Snow White to escape. They happen upon the mighty dwarfs with fighting skills of men twice their size. Strangely, they have heads that are normal and personalities that are quite well ego-developed. They are a pleasure to watch and Bob Hoskins is a gem of a dwarf with eyes that “see,” though he is blind.
They are almost eaten by a troll, a wild tree monster/animal that is cast in the image of other movie monsters, including the one from “Super 8.” It takes us unnecessarily out of the mystery of 14th century England and into sick, sci-fi monster land.
Snow White is tricked by the evil queen and returned to her father at the castle in a shroud. After recovery, she is incensed by the wrongness and evil intent of the queen. In daring Joan-of-Arc style, she is determined to lead her army into battle to vanquish this epitome of evil.
Although the notion of the good spirit going to battle with evil is an old tale, first-time director Rupert Sanders pulls it off anew with noble bravura.
One of “Snow White’s” many charms is the incredible scenery. The mountains, snow and beach are all beautifully photographed. The score by James Newton Howard captures the medieval mood exquisitely.
“Snow White and the Huntsman” brings the terror of the medieval darkness and treachery to life. The evil queen became evil because she was violently snatched from her mother’s arms as a little girl. This kind of mother-loss trauma sets the child up for power, control and domination (PCD) personality. Sadly, these traits become the directing inner drives of the adult child. We see this every day in the domination and disregard of employees by corporation moguls.
Although the ending is predictable, it matters not. By then your heart has been won and enchantment has settled into your soul. “Snow White” will transport you back in time and over the moon with glorious movie-time magic.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action and brief sensuality.
Cedric Wood, Ph.D., L.P.C., is a counselor for individuals, couples and entire families.