Gina Sez: "Snow White and the Huntsman" Offers Important Commentary about Monarchies
It was a dark and stormy night, and Gina, Wes, and Jessie decided to go see a movie.
OK, it wasn't dark OR stormy when the decision to go see "Snow White and the Huntsman" was made. However, as soon as I said, "We should leave now so that we can go get candy (to get one over on The Man, you see)" the skies opened up and there was a torrential downpour. So...eventually it was a dark and stormy night. Anyway, before that, Wes and I were sitting in the hot tub drinking mojitos (because our lives totally suck, obviously) and we realized we were in the mood to see something culturally relevant. That being said, our options were clearly only "Snow White and the Huntsman" or "Battleship".
"Battleship" was my initial choice because I've been going nuts every time I see the trailer for it. I really wanted to see how they were going to make an entire film out of a game as simple as "Battleship". In one of the trailers, I swear I saw them contrive a reason why there was some kind of invisible yet vision-tricking barrier between the good guys and the bad guys to make it actually like the game. I also hoped that in seeing it, I would see a trailer for the next big thing: CONNECT FOUR - Rise of the Red Circle or Hungry Hungry Hippo (this would definitely offer interesting social commentary about the state of famine in Africa, much like James Bond: Die Another Day offered great insight into blood diamond trading and the rampant "villains with diamonds stuck in their face" problem).
Unfortunately, the times were not convenient, and ultimately I don't know if my brain was in a state that could handle the number of explosions promised in "Battleship", so "Snow White and the Huntsman" it was.
Now, some would say that this movie is just a bunch of eye candy. It certainly is visually impressive. The effects are quite good and there are lots of pretty people in it. The forestscapes are stimulating and immersive. The costumes are elaborate and interesting. Also, Ian McShane is a dwarf in it...so...I don't know. That gave it points for me. Perhaps you're not as easy to impress.
But beyond that, "Snow White and the Huntsman" is a perfect Republican allegory for how they view the use of various segments of society.
***OMG SPOILER ALERT***
1. The Power and Importance of Beauty (AKA: The Woman's Place)
Snow White is born and is deemed the prettiest girl EVER. Everyone in the kingdom is completely enamored with her...kindness...and also, her pretty face. The kingdom prospers also because her dad is a nice guy or something, but then he goes off and fights a war because his wife died and upon winning a peculiar battle, he rescues a prisoner, Charlize Theron. He sees her, notices that she's totally hot, and decides to marry her THE NEXT DAY. On their wedding night, she stabs him and, apparently never being questioned or anything, becomes Queen. While she stabs him she says something akin to "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" and all aquatic bicycle sales in the kingdom cease. Snow White gets thrown in a tower and all is torn asunder. All the apples rot and all the dwarves are out of work.
The film is basically a battle between the Queen and Snow White for who is really the prettiest...and...um...therefore the nicest and, er, best. The Queen stays young and pretty by sucking the life force out of pretty girls (unless they have mild scarring on their faces...that apparently keeps them safe because they're not pretty enough then). This is because her mom told her that the only thing she had was her beauty...unless some bitch was prettier. CAT FIGHT! Only Snow White can kill her because she's prettier and, um, she's nice to animals and stuff. Yeah.
Meanwhile, there's a Huntsman played by Thor. He apparently falls in love with Snow White because she's so nice and doesn't punch dwarves in the face (not all the time anyway). He thinks she's pretty because she reminds him of his dead wife and therefore, apparently, his kiss brings her back to life. She comes back alive and gives a pep talk to the troops and everyone follows her for some reason...because...I don't know, apparently she's "Life Itself". The forest full of fairies and deer with giant racks (antlers, that is) flock to her. In other words, she's hella pretty.
In the end, everyone bad dies and everyone good (with the exception of one dwarf) lives and all the peasants rejoice when Queen Hotlips takes the thrown. Apparently she makes flowers grow, probably because of her beauty and her virtue.
So, ladies, let this be a lesson to you: You can do anything you want, as long as you are pretty and thin! This isn't obvious in modern society, so I'm glad that this movie gave us a unique perspective.
2. Christian Faith is Always Relevant
Still, in this land of fairies and dwarves and evil magic queens, Snow White never loses faith...IN JESUS. That's right: Snow White is a Christian (shown to us when she, still locked in the tower as a young woman, picks up straw replicas of her parents and says the "Our Father" prayer). This makes so much sense. I mean, we would have no way of knowing she was virtuous if she didn't believe in Jesus.
3. Lift Yourselves By Your Bootstraps and You Shall Be Allowed into Society!
So, apparently, when the king was alive, everyone was happy. Then he was dead and everyone was sad and unemployment was at an all time low. Take, for instance, the dwarves. They were apparently gold miners (the best anyone had ever seen), but then...for some reason...no one wanted gold or something and they came out of the caves to find a world that wanted nothing of them. But no worries because The Fairest of Them All is here and she will take advantage of your desperation! "We will die for you, Snow White...because you are the one!" "OK!" "We will wade through shit for you and open the gate, and then we will all prosper because you are going to be the same caliber of leader as your dad because...um...obviously." (They literally walk through the castle's sewer system to do this)
Snow is helped by various disenfranchised people along the way, who are subsequently beaten or burned for harboring her. But it's cool, because in the end, she gets to be Queen and she gives everyone a nod for their sacrifice. Or, at least, I thought I saw her head move a little bit. I'm sure she'll take care of them because she is pretty and nice or something and being Queen is totes easy!
4. Blood Determines What Kind of Ruler You Will Be
Her dad rocked, and so will she. It was destined...by either the giant deer (I don't know...he seemed to know something no one else did, and I guess they didn't want to put a unicorn in there instead for fear of being too cliche or too much like "Legend") or by God, since they're all Christians.
So, we've got women as figureheads given power AND weakness due to their own beauty and level of virtue, Christians, disadvantaged people having value because of the crappy things they're willing to do for the privileged, and the idea that family value/legacy is really the most important thing. This is basically a Mitt Romney commercial.
In conclusion, "Snow White and the Huntsman" was pretty terrible and not even really terrible in the way that I usually like. But at least I got to see Kristen Stewart really show off her acting talent.
These Gina Sez articles are really hard to write.