Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a familiar tale, but you have never seen or imagined it like this before. Rupert Sanders' Snow White and the Huntsman takes this old favourite to a whole new level – it's a drama-filled, action-packed adventure from start to finish.
The story of Snow White (Stewart) begins with the untimely death of her mother the Queen, after which her grief-stricken father remarries a beautiful stranger (Theron). This stranger then murders the King, usurps the throne and imprisons the young princess.
When new tyrant Queen Ravenna learns from her mirror on the wall that she is no longer the "fairest of them all", she decides that she must eat the heart of her step-daughter, which will provide her with eternal youth and beauty – the very things she needs to stay in power.
However, Snow White has escaped into the dangerous, dark forest - a place where many won't travel. The Queen persuades a grieving, widowed huntsman (played by a rough and rugged, yet endearing Hemsworth) to track Snow White down in exchange for the (false) promise of bringing his wife back to life.
Despite the Queen's 'offer', the huntsman becomes Snow White's mentor and leads her on her hero's journey to restore peace, tranquillity and prosperity to the Kingdom. Oh, and there's a love triangle, too.
The repugnant Queen Ravenna is brilliantly played by Theron, who gives the stand-out performance in the film, even overshadowing Stewart's Snow White. Theron portrays Ravenna as the most reprehensible villain, who sucks the souls out of beautiful young women in a very Harry Potter Dementoresque way, yet at the same time manages to show her vulnerability.
I know, you're probably wondering: what about the seven dwarfs? Well, the seven are in fact eight in this version, and they feature for probably no more than eight minutes in total. Perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but the dwarfs – played by Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, Nick Frost, Johnny Harris and Brian Gleeson - who were central to the original tale, are more or less forgotten about in this version. One can't help but feel that we could have done with seeing more of them. The movie is left open for a sequel, so perhaps we will.
Overall, this is a visually stunning film. The scenery and effects are fantastic and really do add to the excitement, making the movie a lot more than just a childhood fairytale. From characters exploding into murders of crows, clouds of butterflies and shards of coal, to the scary, dark forest and the beautiful, enchanted wood, Snow White and the Huntsman is captivating. On his directorial debut, Rupert Sanders does not disappoint.
To rekindle your love affair with a childhood favourite, this is definitely one to see.