Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
on February 18, 2005
I wasn't "terrified" by this movie, but I do love it for what it is. The setting and costumes are charming and artistic, the casting very appropriate. The dark tone to the film is somewhat haunting, and yet at the same time there is an enchanting elegance to it. The native forest scenery is particularly breathtaking, and the castle presents itself as both lovely and ghastly.
The movie is altogether a welcome change from cloying animated fairy tales. I'm proud of this movie for going in the Grimm brothers direction, and asserting that a story like "Snow White" is not necessarily meant exclusively for children, if at all.
Some may think Sigourney Weaver as the stepmother was over the top, or rather that the character was written to be too over the top. However, the viewer must remember that this is a fairy tale--it's meant to be over the top (particularly when madness is involved!). Fairy tales are defined by their use of magical elements in telling a story. This telling of the story manages to employ especially the use of the supernatural as a means of illustrating, with horrific hyperbole, the dangers of obsessive vanity and jealousy, emphasizing the versatility of fairy tale motifs.
I highly recommend this film for lovers of authentic fairy tales. Don't watch it expecting to be scared, but rather creeped out in a Grimm brothers sort of way. Also, don't expect to be awfully surprised--there are plenty of plot twists in this movie that some find surprising, and others find contrived. However, in the end, you don't need to be surprised when you're watching a fairy tale, for these are stories nearly as old as time. A fairy tale newly told is more an experience of one person's artistic interpretation than a new story, and this movie is an admirable example of such.