Snow White and the Huntsman doesn’t do it

June 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm 4 comments

As my daughter would say, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman was an epic fail’.  The only part of the fairy tale genre it nailed was the visual imagery.  There are fascinating little creatures in the dark forest and compelling images like the girl on the horse fleeing through the woods, or the raging evil of the queen becoming a flutter of black birds.  These images give the movie an enchanted and fairytale feeling. 

Red Riding Hood (Amanda Seyfried) was the same with the spikey trees and fur blankets.  Great images but they had no idea what the point of the story was so they made the Virgin heroic, in a confusing and half-hearted way.  This is a great example of how you can’t tell a Virgin story in the same way that you tell a hero story.  They have different drives and outcomes.  It is a different very journey.

The point of a Virgin story is to look inside yourself and find your gift.  She starts out in a world that diminishes her value for being herself.  She has to overcome the external message and connect to her own understanding of her worth.  This is an interesting story.  Aren’t we all trying to do this?

In Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristin knows her gift in the very beginning.  The story was over and we had to stay for another two predictable hours.  She is beautiful because of her pure heart.  Animals instinctively know this and connect to her.  She meets the Huntsman and declares herself to be valuable.  Based on what? She meets up with William and says ‘no problem abandoning me and giving me up for dead.  There wasn’t much you could do.’  He’s a ninja archer!!  He never bothered to check out what happened to her?!  There must have been rumors from guards or other prisoners.

It would have been so much more interesting if the circumstances of Snow White’s life had impacted her and she was miserable in her victimhood.  Snow White lost her mother, her ‘friend’ murdered her father and put her in a tower where she was deprived of love or beauty.  William and his father abandoned her.    All those years in prison seemed to have no impact on her.  She was just a bit dirty.  Why did this have no effect on her feeling of self-worth?  Did anyone ever think about her?   I`d be wondering.

From a screenwriting point of view, Snow White needs to start with a barrage of words and images that are detrimental to her understanding of her worth.  She is eating the poisonous words and actions of others long before she eats the apple.  Writers of modern tellings of Snow White like Precious and Black Swan understood this aspect of the story.  This is where we, the audience, get hooked on the story.

Also, what was the take home message of the story?  Snow White lost sight of her authentic nature and became a killer.  Really?!  Her gift is the power of love.  She calms the raging troll and connects with the great white stag when she is radiating her natural love for others.  It is like when Dian Fossey went to live near the gorillas without any guns, only an open and curious heart.  We all know the powerful impact that had on gorillas and us.  I`m not saying the heroes should not have risen to her defense.  They should have!  But Snow White needed to kill the Queen with kindness – a nice twist ending would have been for Snow White to give the Queen a kiss of unconditional love.  God knows she needed genuine love to melt her icy heart and release her pain.  Then she could have gracefully yet rapidly aged and died before our eyes.

I have nothing but praise for the Evil Queen.  Charlize was compelling, creepy, topical, and had backstory.  She gave an insightful representation of the Hag archetype.  I just felt bad that she wasn`t getting more help from the story structure.

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Entry filed under: Archetype theory, Fairy Tales, Film Summaries. Tags: , , , .

my virgin youtube Does fear drive us?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sandeep Gupta  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Hi all, 🙂

    Wondering if there is anyone with a background in the neighborhood of social psychology, who is also on this list.

    Or someone with a degree (formal or real) in Literature or Acting. Who also read Kim’s book. And found the last three columns, and the model amazing (or anything else.) I barely started reading the column in the last few months, by the way.

    Need to check with you all, if someone else sees what I see for a few quarters now, as a fundamental advance made by Kim’s paradigm. I think it affects what we know about storytelling, fundamentally.
    …,

    Sandeep <<< who has no formal background in ….

    Reply
    • 2. thevirginspromise  |  June 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks for making a comment Sandeep. Always great to hear from you.

      Reply
  • 3. Kate  |  June 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Kim:
    Just saw the movie yesterday – I agree that it didn’t really follow either the hero’s journey or the virgin’s journey model. Visually, I thought it was amazing, though. What struck me most was the lack of character development for the main characters, as you mentioned, and the lack of development of the relationship between the Huntsman and Snow White. I honestly didn’t see any romantic chemistry at all between them, so “the kiss” that awakened her towards the end of the movie took me completely by surprise. I did like the ending, which thankfully was not one of Snow White hooking up with the Huntsman, but instead showed her stepping into her power, so to speak, as the ruler of the new kingdom. And did you notice that two women took top billing in the acting credits? Yay for us! Finally.

    Reply
    • 4. thevirginspromise  |  June 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      I didn’t notice the women getting top billing. Yah!! I liked that she stepped into her power at the end as well. Ultimately the Virgin is on a journey to connect to her feminine power, to be all you are capable of being.

      Reply

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Writing Feminine Stories of Creative, spiritual and Sexual Awakening

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