24 June 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

I've seen the film Snow White and the Huntsman yesterday and I've quite enjoyed it. Now, this being a role-playing blog, I'll gloss over its cinematographic qualities (or lack thereof), and concentrate on the inspirational parts of it, along with what 'improvements' I would imagine I would have brought to the film, had I been the director. Inspirational in terms of an Umathing campaign game, yes... Read on to see why.

By the way, the following may contain 'spoilers' but since everyone including little children already knows the story of Snow White, this shouldn't be an issue.

The stepmother is portrayed as a kind of [literally] life-sucking lamia or vampiress. Throughout the film, which spans several years in the life of Snow White, the Queen has most of the young females in the kingdom abducted so that she can remain young and beautiful by sucking their life force. Now this is shown by her "sucking" their breath through her open mouth. This actually reminded me of Oriental tales of -stealing vixen spirits. Pretty cool, but in my opinion it would have been more fitting with the faux European milieu of the film to depict the stepmother as a kind of Erzsébet Báthory, the notorious Hungarian countess who bathed in virgins' blood to keep her youthful looks, and thus to depict her bathing in blood. But then I guess the film would have lost its 12A rating...
The Queen got her cool -stealing power through her mother. This is shown in a flashback type of scene, although the mother looks like an unassuming peasant woman. How on earth could she possibly have been able to bestow this power on her daughter? In my version of Snow White and the Huntsman, the Queen's mother is a puissant God Learner who found the -stealing power in the Otherworld, and who passes it on to her daughter instants before she's taken care of by the Gift Carriers who are wiping out the God Learners.

The Huntsman, played by Thor, looks like a solid Umathing. Good.

Snow White is a wee skinny for an arse-kicking fighting princess, although she does look good in her armour at the end of the film. I wish she'd kept it on during the whole film.

The river folk are a nice addition. They don't look particularly faux European though. Too bad most of them get wiped out half-way through the film. I would make them a lost Umathing tribe who worships the river spirits rather than the Storm pantheon.

The Duke, his son, and their retinue look like nice faux European knights. That's OK with the old Gloranthan way of portraying the Westerners, but obviously they aren't aware that the canonical view on Westerners has changed. Bring on the new art!

The dwarfs are OK. What kind of wilderness-dwelling creatures could have taken care of a Malki princess on the run in Umathela, though? Durulz? I don't think there are any in Pamaltela. Olodo? Yes, I think Olodo would do. They would keep Snow White in their inhospitable mountains and train her to become a kick-arse warrior. In which case she should fight half-naked rather than in a Malki armour.

The troll that the Huntsman and Snow White meet in the wilderness is obviously an Aldryami. How uninformed of them.

Overall Atmosphere
The meeting with the white deer is a rip-off from Princess Mononoke. Shame on them.

Again, what with Erzsébet Báthory, the 18th century settig of Snow White, etc.... I think the film should have looked more like it had been cast in the 17th century, with crude firearms. Imagine at the end of the film the Queen would have used bombards rather than trebuchets against the forces of the Duke. Also the son of the Duke would be a master musketeer rather than a bowman.

Hollywood: next time, drop me a line :)

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