Hollywood currently seems to have a thing for rebooting fairy tales. In 2011 we saw Red Riding Hood released to, at very best, mixed reviews. In the pipeline are Hansel and Gretel and Beauty and the Beast, but this year we are being treated (sort of) to two versions of possibly the most famous fairytale of them all: Snow White. Snow White has been adapted many times since the birth of film and television, even being incorporated into an episode of Supernatural. For many people it will be difficult to forget Disney’s romanticisation of the classic story but Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror will be hoping to achieve this, but which is more likely to do so?

Snow White and the Huntsman: Released 1st June 2012.

Snow White and the Huntsman is an action adventure film. It is a twist to the classic fairytale where the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White to the forest to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the evil queen.

Kristen Stewart takes up the role of Snow White in this adaptation with the evil queen being portrayed by Charlize Theron, a very talented actress. Chris Hesworth, of Thor fame, plays the Huntsman and many people will be anticipating his performance as he was recently nominated for the Rising Star award at the BAFTA’s.  Snow White and the Huntsman even manages to pack in the stars to play the dwarves, who have only been seen in set pictures so far, and famous names such as Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Bob Hoskins and Ian McShane all take up the short mantle of being a dwarf. This film sees Rupert Sanders make his feature length debut as director, being known mainly for his work in commercials and short films so there is a heavy weight upon his shoulders as this is one of the most anticipated films of 2012.

The trailer really sets a dark theme for the movie with its beginning looking more like a fantasy war epic than an adaptation of a fairytale, which is good due to the original darkness of the Grimm brothers’ story. We are treated to the evil Queen’s narration and her conversation with the Magic Mirror really giving the storyline to the audience (needlessly perhaps as the story is very well known). The Huntsman looks particularly good and strong and we see him wielding his axes and maybe shown why he will help Snow White as he is bullied by the Queen. There is no hint at a love story in the trailer but we will have to wait and see what comes of that. There is a shot of a fantasy monster confronting Snow White which is interesting; do these creatures exist in this world? Or is it a manifestation of one of the Queen’s spells?

The trailer really focusses more on the Queen than on Snow White and this helps to give a strong indication of how evil the Queen really is. We see her torturing and sucking the life out of her subjects and her power when the Huntsman at first shows slight refusal of what she demands of him. It has been said many times that films are remembered by how well their villain is portrayed and Charlize Theron’s version of the evil Queen could be one of the best characters of the year.

 

Mirror Mirror – The Untold Adventures of Snow White: Released 2nd April 2012.

Mirror Mirror is an adventure comedy movie. An evil Queen steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright.

Julia Roberts is the biggest name attached to this film and she leads the cast as the evil Queen. However, before meeting the director of Mirror Mirror Roberts stated that she thought the film was a terrible idea and was a thousand per cent against it (let’s hope it’s not as bad as she thought it would be). Where Snow White and the Huntsman went for recognisable names among their cast Mirror Mirror went for more upcoming stars with Lily Collins portraying Snow White and Armie Hammer playing the Prince, who will have a more prominent role in this movie. Tarsem Singh will be directing; he split critics with his 2006 film The Fall but has failed to impress really with his last attempt Immortals receiving negative reviews from critics. This is his fourth outing as director.

From very early on in the trailer you can see this is a lighter adaptation than Snow White and the Huntsman. It gives the audience a taste of the comedy featured within the film, mainly from Julia Roberts’ character who seems, to me at least, a little more weird rather than evil. Some of the comedy in the trailer comes across as poorly written and forced at times (the ‘puppy love’ potion a fine example of poor comedy) but no doubt it will pick up a few laughs and people will find this sort of thing funny. The trailer really gets going when we get to see Snow White and the dwarves. Lily Collins looks fantastic as the young princess and looks as though she was built to play this part, so fingers crossed the film does that justice. We do get to see the dwarves in this trailer and it looks as though they will be there for comedy relief in places but their kinship and relationship with Snow White looks as though it will be worth watching for.

 

 

Whilst there is a couple of months separating the two films so that they are not in direct competition with one another it seems unlikely that most movie goers will take two trips to see what is, in essence, the same story so it will be interesting to see which film comes out on top. Will audiences choose the comedic elements of Mirror Mirror or the more action driven Snow White and the Huntsman. Either way, the successes or failures of both films will have an effect on the future of Hollywood’s fairytale adaptations.

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