Huntsman: Winter's War review

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2012 was an unforgettable year for me because I spend hours in front of the internet trying to process the information paparazzi cameras put forward; Kristen Stewart was visibly caught cheating with her Snow White and the huntsman director Rupert Sanders. It broke his marriage and Stewart faced intense media scrutiny followed by a public breakup with her boyfriend and co-star Robert Pattinson. It is not in my place to say if they were a good couple or not, but the fact that she cheated on someone as beautiful as Pattinson was too much for one to clear up. That was the deduction made by me as a teenager. Today I have matured and learned to make a better analysis. But then the filmmakers weren’t finished with Stewart and left her out in the much-anticipated sequel of Snow White and the huntsman.

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A prequel-sequel about the huntsman is made, ignoring all possibilities of scrutiny from bad acting to the desecration of good actors to plotholes. The filmmakers paid the price in the form of a flop.

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They simply left Snow White out of the equation but she was a major concern for both Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and her husband (Sam Clafin). Queen Ravenna is defeated but her mirror is torturing Snow White. How? We get to see her scream in front of the mirror with her face covered. So, Eric decided to act and steal the mirror before it goes to the wrong hands, a much-forgotten ice queen Freya (Emily Blunt). Freya imposed a draconian “no-love”rule and stole every child from his/her parents and raises them as her own huntsman warriors. The best warriors Eric and Sara (Jessica Chastain) fall in love and they were punished.

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I was fascinated by Sara because I always look forward to women in action and Jessica Chastain delivered that. But, her character lacked the soul and as much as she dominated the screen; where she fights/rescues her male counterparts and shows defiance in front of the queen, she was erased off by the end of the movie with a single blow from Ravenna. Yep, Ravenna is resurrected in this movie. Sorry for the spoiler but it is obvious after seeing the poster isn’t it? 

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Speaking of Desecration, the reason why I watched this film is because of the four leads. Chris Hemsworth is one of the most talented actors of his generation and it could be exhibited only as long as Ron Howards or Ridley Scotts offer him roles where he could showcase it. I was watching “in the heart of the sea” before this, where he delivered a heartbreaking yet charismatic portrayal of a sailor stranded in the sea. Hemsworth’s talents are being overdecorated with Thor films and fantasy. Huntsman was an unnecessary entry in his filmography, that being said, he is the only redeeming factor. Throughout the film, he stuck to the core and delivered a controlled performance. Charlize Theron showed us Ravenna but what follows is simply the repetition of the incidents in Snow White and the Huntsman, omitting the “poisoned apple” part. Jessica Chastain shined but then her character was not given the spark. The most painful process was watching Emily Blunt.

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It is the same person who enthralled the audience in the heavy suit as the full metal bitch in “the edge of tomorrow“. She was the one who welcomed Andrea Sachs to Miranda Priestly’s office with the famous eye roll. She is almost a superstar with films like “the girl on the train” in her list of forthcoming attractions. In this film, I loathed her. She was both boring and tenacious. Her face lacked the villainous look and at times I felt that she might burst out in tears. For someone who inflicted draconian rules and practices, Blunt actually failed in delivering what was expected. Her character is damaged as her lover murdered their new-born child and she is in pain. The scenes where Ravenna was manipulating Freya is well done but then what followed was Freya, a soulless form walking around in a heavy dress and white wig. It would have been better if Chastain played her role while Blunt emerged on-screen as Sara. She does have the charisma to do action and Chastain is versatile enough to play the psychologically damaged obsessed ice queen.

Huntsman was too predictable even after providing all the jumbles in the story. I am tired of themes that are shuffled for the sake of profit. Hollywood can deliver better than that. Also, the excess of CGI might give one headache. Amidst slow direction, and disappointing technical inputs, James Newton Howard’s music created the soothing effect. When the film came out, I was rather surprised when it was declared as a box office flop in spite of having four income generating stars. There is only one logical reason as to why, Snow White. How can you expect a film about Snow White to succeed without her? Kristen Stewart is undoubtedly a stereotyped actress but she left her mark in the blockbuster predecessor. Huntsman showed Eric and Sara’s love story. Snow White and Eric developed feelings for each other and he was the one who woke her up from the coma caused by the poisoned apple. It means nothing to the plot that was shoved down our throats in a way. Snow White defeated the queen but Ravenna’s malevolence is shown to be more severe towards Eric, apparently. Why on why?

I guess producer Jim Roth should have dropped the sequel idea if Stewart-Sanders scandal created this big ruckus. Huntsman is not worth your time if you have seen many fantasy films in your life.

2/5

Featured image: walsdesk.com

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