SNOW WHITE AND THE INTERNALIZED MISOGYNY – or how Ravenna’s the one you should be rooting for

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I know, I know. The movie’s shit. I knew it was shit going in. Popular media make masochists of us all.

Isn’t it remarkable by the way that every dress in this movie bares and emphasizes a woman’s cleavage? Little wonder that the only kiss initiated by Bella Swan in this film–her one moment of sexual desire–is directed at another woman. All the other kisses are initiated by men who decide it’s awesome to molest her while she’s either comatose or dead, and therefore can’t consent.

The evil queen’s greatest crime, you see, is that she wants to execute #killallmen. She’s essentially Cersei Lannister given magic. A day after she first appears the king decides to take her to wife, and in the middle of consummating their wedding she hisses that men use and discard women after their beauty has faded: a view that the film never actually shows to be false. And yet, when she stabs the king in the heart it’s her who is in the wrong, and he in the right–King Magnus’ subjects insist he was a good and noble monarch, but we never saw any of that because the only thing dude does onscreen is to fight a battle in a fantastically dumb way (racing all the way from his castle to collide with a waiting army? Why aren’t your horses fucking dead?), fall in lust with a hot lady, and then proceed to paw her all over.

RAVENNA. I was once ruined by a king like you. I replaced his queen when she had grown old. And then he would have replaced me with someone younger. You men use us up and then throw us away like garbage.

I mean, ex-fucking-cuse me here, but we’re supposed to think she’s the bitch-whore from hell? She’s speaking from experience. If you’re a woman who lives in a misogynistic society, where you’re taught your only hope of survival is your beauty… then what is wrong with how she thinks? It’s sensible.

That he immediately gets murdered at Ravenna’s hand seems only a fitting fate for someone so broadly useless and incompetent.

There was a moment of hope there when, while the maids dress Ravenna for her wedding, she and Snow White nearly bond. Ravenna says almost word-for-word what Snow’s mother said: something about her heart, and then that she can never replace Snow’s mother. There could’ve been something there, with Ravenna teaching Snow White how to survive in a world ruled by and made for men, but since this is mindless Hollywood fare that’s discarded in favor of “Ravenna is an evil bitch whore!”

There’s some bizarre, stupid, awful thing about how Bella Swan is inherently pure: as seen here, a white stag at the center of a fairy forest bows to her and allows her to pet it, which the prophetic dwarf insists is evidence that she is magic–an embodiment of the power of life, such that she is able to heal all ills and dispel all unhappiness. Literally: one of the dwarf’s gout disappears. Bella Swan doesn’t need to do anything special to be exceptional and valuable; her blood or genes or some inborn magicalness is all she needs. Come to think of it, from the side the stag looks like a really huge dog-goat hybrid with antlers pastede on.

Everyone calls Snow White her father’s daughter, but not her mother’s daughter. Their automatic loyalty to her can be traced to their loyalty to her father. When she gives her motivational speech, what does she say?

SNOW WHITE. I can kill her. And I’d rather die today than live another day of this death! Who will ride with me? Who will be my brother?

Aside from the jaw-dropping stupidity of the speech itself–”I’d rather die today than live another day of this death” is utterly bafflingly campy–for some reason Bella Swan decides to demand that people be her brother (singular!), despite there being women in the crowd she addresses at the time. Not to worry of course, because the army she subsequently raises is all-men with her as its sole female figure Jeanne d’Arc style. Not that she actually leads, really, because their primary strategy seems identical to that used by her father way back when: to ride all the way from the duke’s castle and charge at a gate. This results in most of said army being decimated by ballistae, arrows, and boiling oil.

Remarkably, at the final confrontation Bella Swan remains in her shiny-armor get-up while Ravenna wears a black cleavage-baring gown. The message is obvious: to be worth anything a woman must be the Exceptional Woman and One of the Boys–girliness, especially sexual womanliness, is to be abhorred: Snow displays no sexual or romantic agency throughout, and has only the vaguest, faintest interest in her childhood sweetheart William (and whom she only kisses when he is actually Ravenna in disguise). In her death Snow’s dressed in white, and when she rises from it thanks to the huntsman’s kiss (only male power may save you, ladies! A man kissing you while you’re comatose? So magical it’ll resurrect you) it is in this virginal white that she motivates the duke’s people to fight for her with that stunningly stupid speech. She also cites her father, of course, because what is a princess if not daddy’s girl? Not that we ever saw any suggestion that he was much of a father–her upbringing it seems was taken care of entirely by her mother, while Daddy barely paid her any attention, but of course it’s the daddy who gets sainted while her mother is entirely forgotten.

I can’t even begin to unpack the women’s village, except only to say: why didn’t any of them show up at the final battle? I mean, they should have a pretty vested interest in this whole thing. But, of course, in this film the only woman who can be shown with sword and armor is the Exceptional Woman. It’s neat by the way that Ravenna has superhuman strength without needing sword or armor, but that’s not much given that Snow White defeats her anyway by sheer luck–with her final line to Ravenna (and her final line in the movie period, because at her coronation Snow seems only able to breathe loudly) being the peculiarly ambiguous, “You can’t have my heart.” That’s literal, yes, since Ravenna was after her heart to seize immortality, but it seems amazingly redundant, someone’s witless idea of a witty one-liner… but which coincides, uncomfortably, with that one (unwitting) lesbian kiss. She can’t have your heart, oh? Was it that kissing Ravenna was the most sexually excited you’ve ever been, Bella? Will your defense in court be “gay panic”?

Bella’s speech, by the way, is where you realize that Charlize Theron isn’t the only actor in this disaster to think “acting skill” equals “hamming it way the fuck up”: Bella’s speech isn’t just horribly written but ridiculously emoted, mostly by yelling at the top of her lungs. It’s not only that this is a deeply sexist movie; it’s also that it is incoherent, plotless, mindless, unrelenting in its general all-around inability to compel at any point except perhaps to root for Ravenna. There’s a dark forest, if you inhale the mushrooms you will hallucinate horrible shit, but this is pointless except as a random backdrop. There’s a fairy forest and it’s full of pixies and shit, but this also is pointless except as a random backdrop–both forests seem to be tributes to the Disney version of Snow White more than anything, as is Bella Swan’s dress. The dwarfs are just an odd addition to an already crowded film. I’m not sure why William is even around. The huntsman’s accent is hilarious, and most of the time I had difficulty telling him apart from William because they look identical: white men with brown hair and facial things. Whoever in charge of Bella’s makeup forgot she’s not supposed to be a vampire in this movie, so she constantly looks as though she’s just gotten out of her coffin, she’s that pallid. Finn is an incoherent character; we see him grimacing and cringing at Ravenna’s murderous ways, and seems to entertain some kind of conscience, except he’s also a rapist. Perhaps we are to understand that Ravenna’s utterly justified hatred of men is a worse sin than Finn going around raping women.

Both, of course, are endlessly stupid so it can only be deduced that the duke and assorted types are even less intelligent than the blonde siblings to have put up with her reign all those ten years. I’m still not sure why Bella eats the apple, by the way; she mumbles something about the trick she and William played as children. The trick being… to bite a big chunk out of an apple? And incidentally, Ravenna-as-William is the most depth you’ll see out of the character; the real William is so bland he’ll disappear if turned sideways.

For those interested, this is a movie where every named character (and most of the unnamed ones) is Aryan as all get-out, by the way. I’m not sure if any of the women other than Ravenna, Bella and that one girl Greta are named. Even Snow’s mother goes without. Despite the setting being some generic Western European fantasyland, Bella is seen praying fervently twice like a good Christian girl, in a troubling and clumsy attempt at contrasting her with… what? The evil witchery of Ravenna? Never mind that Bella’s encounter with the fairy forest isn’t exactly Christian, unless perhaps the white stag is meant to be a stand-in for Aslan and therefore for Christ.

Don’t watch this movie. Instead, read this short story by Jessica E. Kaiser, “Reflection.” It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, and it does a much better job of everything than this sexist, incompetently-written failure.

This is how it begins.

You open the carved cherry-wood shutters and gaze into the mirror. The skirt with its heavy midnight brocade, the high-heeled slippers pinching your feet, the viciously tight corset stealing the air from your throat like the hand of a jealous lover—they make you beautiful.

Yes. Beautiful, with your blonde hair and blue eyes. He said it, and the mirror agrees.

[...]

The corset squeezes your lungs as it compresses your waist, and the weight of the gown he gave you is exhausting. But they make you beautiful.

Yes. Beautiful, with your black hair and your red lips. I agree.

For now.

This is how we begin.

41 thoughts on “SNOW WHITE AND THE INTERNALIZED MISOGYNY – or how Ravenna’s the one you should be rooting for

  1. I dont think we were supposed to think Ravenna was 100% terrible, they added those parts to her backstory to make her more sympathetic and complex. THAT SAID. she was still clearly a villain and still was killed in the end so. yeah. I pretty much agree with everything else you said too. I watched the film cause I love shitty fantasy movies what can I say? But I also hoped it would be better than it was, Female Hero and Female Villain? yes pls. and It could have been good tho, it had the potential to be really subversive and powerful but the writing was shitty and conventional and also full of sexist tripe. Alas. The acting WAS bad, but I enjoyed Charlize Theron’s scenery chewing. It was pretty entertainingly over the top 2 me. but also I felt like she wasnt really given much to work with? She’s a good actress but I think she took one look at the piss poor script and was like “fuck it, i’mma do what i want”. I will say if anything good came out of this movie it was the interviews involving Kstew and Charlize in which they I shit you not spend the entire time talking about how wonderful and hot each other is and flirting with each other. It almost justifies the existence of the film (ok no it doesnt but i like to look at the glass half full?)

    • It’s part of that “incoherent characterization” thing: like Finn having glimmers of conscience except then he goes all-out taunting the huntsman that he raped the huntsman’s wife. It’s very very peculiar, almost as if the script was a collaboration between people who weren’t quite coordinating.

      the interviews involving Kstew and Charlize in which they I shit you not spend the entire time talking about how wonderful and hot each other is and flirting with each other

      Hokay I’m youtube’ing those up riiiight away.

  2. I don’t understand why they made this movie. They don’t seem to have done anything new or interesting with the story except add more misogyny & rapyness. Anyway, like all good American girls I grew up adoring the Evil Queen from the Disney movie and thinking Snow White was an insipid bore. Looks like that won’t have to change (not that I’m going to bother to see this movie).

    • „They don’t seem to have done anything new or interesting“

      This is exactly why they made this movie.

      No one in Hollyw00t (filmmakers or audience) is interested in making anything new or interesting. Transformers 4, Ice age 4, Iron Man 4. Snow White … 4. Probably. Everybody’s happy with making and watching the same ol’ shite. Huzza.

  3. Ugh. Will avoid.

    Speaking of which, I went and saw the new Disney / Pixar much anticipated movie “Brave” the other night. You know, it was the one announced in 2006 to be Pixar’s first female protaganist movie ever and going to change the world yadda yadda but actually turned out to be yet another one of Disney’s Princess movies dressed up and sold at the movie trailers as something quite different.

    I guess it shouldn’t be surprising when the original female director left due to the creative differences half-way through the shoot and was replaced by some blokes. You can almost pick the point in the film where she stood up and said no more.

    Still, I liked the Princess’s hair. It looked like they spent half the animation budget on it.

  4. I agree with much of what you wrote. I actually liked the movie BECAUSE I saw Ravena as sympathetic, and thought we’re supposed to view her that way. Even Bella, umm Snow, seems to sympathize with her at one point. I also liked that this was ultimately, a story of two women, even though it would have been nice for them not to have needed to kill each other.

    I thought Snow White was so pale because she was supposed to be you know, white as snow. But I was glad that they didn’t make it ALL ABOUT HER BEAUTY, even though I suppose there wasn’t much other reason for the men to be loyal to her.

    And yeah, the speech was awful.

  5. Didn’t you watch Princess Monoke? That white stag is a complete ripoff of the forest spirit. Nothing more intelligent to add, since I haven’t seen the film, but that stag has bothered me from the moment I’ve first seen the stills. Do they think no one’s familiar with Miyazaki? Or did they believe that making him all-white would somehow mask the resemblance?

    • It’s going to be a stretch to say that, unless you know for sure that the spirit in Princess Mononoke is taken from a common myth or inspired by something else too. Just saying.

  6. I think I mostly enjoyed this movie because it was so terrible. Completely agree on all the reasons why. It’s bad and the (misogynist as all hell) myth is strained to breaking point and that makes me happy, because laughing at seeing terrible hegemonic things fail under their own strain is the only power I feel I currently have.

    The movie *should* be about Ravenna, and the people should sacrifice to her willingly to fuel her magic because the patriarchy that would replace her is *worse*. That would be a slightly better movie, or a starting point for one, at least.

    Jessica’s story is much better. I’ve read a lot of re-tellings of Snow White, and this one is one of the best.

    • It’s bad and the (misogynist as all hell) myth is strained to breaking point and that makes me happy, because laughing at seeing terrible hegemonic things fail under their own strain is the only power I feel I currently have.

      It’s why my reaction to this has been one of stupefied disbelief rather than any real anger. It’s just so bad, I can’t imagine anyone took it remotely seriously. It even fails at pushing the hegemonic patriarchy thing.

  7. I haven’t seen the movie yet because of all the panning I’ve heard. I’ve heard that Kristen’s performance is very flat, but I’ve also heard that’s in large part due to the script. I figure I will see it when it comes out on DVD just for Charlize Theron’s performance (okay, and Chris Hemsworth, who is actually one of the few men I find attractive… in part, the voice. And the long hair. So sue me. :) )

    I often find I tend to sympathize with villains more than the goody-two-shoes heroes, but often that’s because the heroes are very bland Good Guys, and the villains are more often well-rounded characters (at least, when they aren’t going all mustache-twirling. It’s interesting that so many creators have taken the whole “give your character motivation” to heart — except when it comes to the hero!)

  8. Normally I just lurk here but ahh I need to share my hatred of this movie and you’re the first person I’ve seen who’s both watched it and bothered to critique the sexual politics of it.

    Snow White 1. narrowly avoids being raped, 2. and there’s mention of Ravenna guarding her virginity/purity (by her would-be rapist, iirc). Meanwhile, evil queen Ravenna is clearly a “spoil of war” aka raped as a child, which all but happens ON-SCREEN. Her rape seems to be the event that informs her character’s whole “use my beauty/sexuality as power” thing as a survival mechanism. So basically, being raped and having that inform how you interact with your horrible misogynistic world = turns you evil. Wow, thanks. So you know, as a survivor this movie was one long FUCK YOUUUUUUUUU now with more spitting in my face.

    Honestly, I’ve read critiques of the movie that mention the fact that it’s hard to buy the conceit that Snow White is more beautiful than the queen when by all standards she’s not. However, she IS “plainer”. The queen is a sexy, image conscious woman with a crazy but totally amazing sense of style. Snow White is dirty and wears pants and is Hollywood’s idea of “plain”: unkempt brunette white girl who is nonetheless attractive. Basically the medieval version of the nerdy girl who you take out her ponytail and take off her glasses and suddenly she’s SO HOT HOW DID WE NEVER SEE IT BEFORE~

    Snow White’s purity and innocence (read: her virginity) is her power. She’s throned as queen after pointedly not pursuing a relationship with either of the male leads after an entire movie’s worth of clumsy love-triangle stuff, directly in conflict with the previous queen who was crowned thanks to her sex appeal.

    And I’m not really up on my Elizabethan gender history, but isn’t that a thing? The next best thing to being a man, and the only way a woman can remotely approach manhood, is by remaining a virgin? So we have virgin Snow wearing a man’s armour and appealing to her subjects using language of brotherhood etc. etc. and then ultimately taking the throne as a virgin queen?

    Which works as a reference to Queen Elizabeth I (who did what she could with what she had wrt to her gender) but IT IS THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY NOW dammit and we shouldn’t be holding that behaviour up as an ideal.

    Basically, arrrgh.

    • Re: Elizabethan gender history – you’re pretty much on the mark, here, regarding everything.

      To further add to the movie’s genderfail, in the context of Tudor history, politics, monarchy, and religion were all intertwined. If you were a monarch, God approved of you; God’s law and the Holy Ghost validated your rule – which is probably why they included Bella Swan ferverently praying, as if we assume that this European setting must of course have some kind of Jesus thing going on.

      But, refocusing on the subject of women rulers, people in general felt that the very idea of a woman monarch was an ungodly abomination. A charming clergyman called John Knox wrote ‘First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women’ in the months before Princess Elizabeth came to the throne. Knox says that female ruler was essentially “more then a monstre in nature” if she assumed a station above a man by taking the throne. The very idea, according to Knox, was “abominable, odious, and detestable is all such usurped authoritie” and a “subversion of good order, of all equitie and justice”.

      The men – of course, men! ugh – who then came to the new Queen’s defense emphasized her quiet, meek, virginal nature, and validated her place on the throne by citing women rulers in the Bible (Deborah, Hester, etc). She was not a cruel tyrant; she could be controlled by a Parliament of men. They were wrong about the second part, of course.

      There has been a lot of stuff written about Elizabeth I and her public image, both in her actual appearances, speeches, and portraiture. She sought to control her image as much as possible, because she knew her gender politically disadvantaged her; as you said, she really focused on her virginity, which symbolised power through purity and impenetrability.

      During her lifetime, Elizabeth was depicted wearing only the most fabulous dresses. They are richly embroided, jewelled, and highly padded – that, along with her painted white face, seems to serve as her armour. Her inventories show that she was interested in cosmetic accoutrements (pestles and mortars, mirrors), but – as always – looking good is never free from politics: she wanted to look good with flawless white skin because that furthered the idea of her pure virginity (yeah I know :-|) and also because she never wanted to publicly admit she was going to age, not have any heirs, and become vulnerable and old until her reign finally ended. Elizabeth presented herself an eternal mother and virgin, willing to sacrifice her life’s blood for England while also asserting that her single status was not only preferred, but had no bearing on dynastic continuity. That was her body politic: it created a fictive reality to enable her to stay in power. This had to be divorced from her natural body, one that she explicitly identified as that of a woman’s. The use of symbolism in her portraits – phoenix for eternal life, white and pearls for virginity, etc – is an attempt to reconcile the two bodies in a highly stylised visual language.

      I imagine the speech Bella Swan gives is possibly meant to call to mind Elizabeth’s Tilbury speech – where she rode out in armour and addressed the troops with a rousing speech, in which she said she had the ‘heart and stomach of a king’. But there’s no eyewitness evidence that she wore any armour, or that her speech ran exactly or even somewhat like that. It is part of a myth of Britishness and has added to the glamour and influence of the figure of Elizabeth throughout the ages. Images showing Elizabeth actually wearing armour and riding on horseback were only produced after she died, when King James I of Britain came into power. People were dissatisfied and felt that even a woman was more war-like, physically powerful and awesome than him.

      That was long, sorry, but I thought maybe it’d interesting to lay out some of the probable source for the ideas and imagery used in Bella Swan and the Seven Dwarves. Of course none of what I have said is actually new; indeed, it is probably mostly depressing because the various discourses here have hardly changed in Britain. But I am sure everyone is pleased that the movie is progressive enough to allow this Virgin Queen to wear armour during her lifetime while appealing to the dudes, right? Ugh.

  9. I am not sure that you’ve made it completely clear how bafflingly incoherent Snow White’s speech is. It’s not even like it’s badly-written like, “Oh, now I’ll say something cliched, that sounds a little bit like the St. Crispin’s Day Speech, as a signifier for what would be inspirational lines in a better movie!”

    It’s actual, literal gibberish. It really makes it seem like she’s got some kind of lingering brain-damage after her magic coma, and so she’s got a kind of aphasia or something. Clearly, she thinks she’s saying something, but the sentence fragments all come out with no relation to each other, or to the actual movie, or to anything.

    I mean, also all the sexism and internalized misogyny, yes, that too.

    • I kept thinking I misheard the entire damn speech and that the actual script is somehow more coherent. Now that I looked it up: NOPE.

      Snow White: Frost to fire, to fire to frost.

      [Snow addresses the crowd]

      Snow White: Iron will melt, but it will writhe inside of itself! All these years, all I’ve known is darkness. But I have never seen a brighter light than when my eyes just opened. And I know that light burns in all of you! Those embers must turn to flame. Iron into sword! I will become your weapon! Forged with a fierce fire that I know is in your hearts! For I have seen what she sees, I know what she knows. I can kill her. And I’d rather die today than live another day of this death! And who will ride with me? Who will be my brother?

      Iron will writhe… inside… of itself. You’re right, this is total word salad.

  10. Catherynne Valente also has a take on Snow White in her Omkuji project called the apple tree at the end of the world or something like that. Very beautiful and not at all about the menz.

  11. That short story you linked to reminded me a lot of one by Neil Gaiman called “Snow, Glass, Apples”. Not that I’m suggesting either of them ripped off the other – rewriting Snow White from the perspective of the queen is such an obvious idea I’m sure many people came up with it independently. But the similarities are still interesting. (Gaiman’s story is longer, and gets considerably more disturbing.)

  12. Yeah, see, this is pretty much why I haven’t gone to see this yet :/ I honestly can’t take another pseudo-feminist disappointment, even for the lulz.

    RAVENNA. I was once ruined by a king like you. I replaced his queen when she had grown old. And then he would have replaced me with someone younger. You men use us up and then throw us away like garbage.

    That just, that sounds like someone was trying to make Ravenna some sort of pseudo-straw-man-hating-feminazi stereotype, which they figure is probably good enough reason for us to hate her and not agree, in contrast with Snow-Bella, who is perfectly okay being “feminist” and getting along with the menfolk.

    What gets me is that they go to the trouble of making a “feminist” retelling, and then surround Snow with dudes. I mean, sure, gaining the respect of the menfolk is an important aspect in a way, but not so much as it needs to be the exclusive focus of the story.. I’m just kind of stunned that one can put the effort into a writing a “feminist” story without understanding that that usually requires more female characters than one heroine and one villainess, both elevated above normal women :/

    And yet even with few to no women around, Bella Snow still manages to be speshul and pure and apparently some sort of White Lantern absadnflsdanfdsa DO NOT WANT.

    You know, I alternately hear that Charlize Theron was awesome or hammy, both from usually reliable sources. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE *sob*

  13. I decided not to see this movie after reading an interview with the writer of the script, where he made fairly clear that he was writing a movie called “The Huntsman”.

    He also mentioned this village of women who scarred themselves to avoid the Queen’s interest, and then banded together to form a village and I couldn’t work out why scarred women couldn’t continue to live at their own homes? Scarring themselves made them somehow unable to live in normal society?

  14. Ah, I saw this movie because a female friend really wanted to see it and I had no other plans that night. About halfway through, the thought, “I wonder what Requires Hate would say about this…” passed through my mind. Now, I know.

    I think the village of women who scarred themselves was the most interesting point of the movie for me. I actually wondered if that was where the protagonist would learn how to fight, maybe, but then the writer seemed to totally drop the idea.

    My friend really liked it though. She talked about it afterwards, but I couldn’t find anything really good to say about it so I just kind of nodded along with what she was saying.

    • Well uhm, what did she like about it? Even concerns with the gender shit are put aside, the movie’s so incoherent. See that speech.

  15. @moon: My friend has somewhat odd taste in movies. She has a thing about fairy tales, especially if it involves a female protagonist. So even if it were a second rate B movie, if it’s based on a fairy tale, she’ll want to see it. She said she liked the “twist” with the huntsman kissing Snow White and bringing her back. In the original story, he spares her life and no reason is really given, so she thought it was romantic to bring them together. She liked the weird pixie forest; she liked the dwarves; she liked the white stag, though she did mention the connection to “Princess Mononoke”. The only thing she didn’t like was the fact that the evil queen dies at the end. She wanted Snow White to convince Ravenna that what she was doing was wrong and have her redeem herself.

    Basically, she prefers things that are clean and sanitized. I don’t think she was really listening to the dialogue, or anything else. I guess because it was a story she already knew, she was prepared to like it from the beginning.

    She also once said that she liked the Twilight movie because “the characters all have super powers, kinda like the X-Men.” I wasn’t about to argue.

  16. Ohmygoodness YES. This film was such a fail-fest. Have you seen Genevieve Valentine’s excellent post about it? (http://www.genevievevalentine.com/2012/06/ten-things-you-should-know-about-snow-white-and-the-hunstman/) She makes a particularly good point about the love triangle thing — i.e. that Snow White actually makes her choice between the men when she kisses ‘Will’ (no matter that it’s not really him; she thinks it is), but the film just swats this aside and proceeds on its merry way to validate the Huntsman’s manpain instead of Snow White’s own feelings… Or Will’s, for that matter, coz if we’re buying into the ‘true love’s kiss’ thaing then why wouldn’t his kiss wake her? He seems pretty besotted with SW all the way through. Clearly it’s only the Huntsman’s emotions the film gives a shit about.

  17. Hi, long time reader, first time commenting.

    I might not agree with everything you have to say, but personally, I was rooting for Ravenna the whole time. She’s the one fighting against misogyny, and I’m supposed to care about this other character who has done NOTHING to make me care about her plight? Yeah, throughout the whole movie I was like “Yeah, can this Snow White scene please end so we can get back to Charlize Theron chewing the scenery in awesome costumes?”

    Although, I did like the fact that a) Snow White’s plate armor at the end was not a boob plate (like real armor) and b) there was no clear love interest (who needs a king when you can rule alone?) although, that “fatherly love” thing between Snow White and the Huntsman was…kind of creepy, if you ask me.

    • Creepy ratcheted up all the way when he kisses her on the mouth while she’s comatose and it wakes her up. I too read the affection as very much of the fatherly sort (the father she never had! Since King Magnus wasn’t really there), and then errr we’re supposed to take him as a love interest now? NO THANKS GROSSALITA.

      • I agree. I watched the movie, hoping to have something better than ‘Twilight’, (A bit off topic here, but I think it was actually worse – if that’s possible, that is – at least ‘Twillight’ had a plot. All I’ve learnt from it, really, is not to go near a movie that involves Christen Stewart as the main character), and only realised the scriptwriters actually meant the Huntsman to be a love interest about ten minutes after the you-remind-me-of-my-dead-wife-so-I’ll-become-a-necrophile-and-kiss-you-dead-teenage-girl-that-is-half-my-age scene, during the boring ‘battle’ bits that I spent most of daydreaming. I only realised it when I began comparing the movie with the fairytale and I had a ‘duh?’ moment. That was also the point I discovered the Huntsman actually had a purpose – to be a strange father-daughter-incest-necrophile-woe-is-me man. Then, the whole bad cliche-ness became a bad ‘WTF?’-ness when Snow became Miss Virgin Queen at the end?

  18. I disagree on almost all counts.

    First- the title. “or how Ravenna’s the one you should be rooting for” This just continues to pit the female characters against each other unnecessarily. Why can’t we cheer for multiple women? Also, why would I cheer for a woman who manipulates and destroys kingdoms and lives?
    Next you state that Ravenna is excusable in her murder of the king because men have been mean to her and nowhere in the movie does it show that men like women when they’re not young and pretty. Alternatively, nowhere in the movie does it show that men DO discard women after their youth fades! The first few minutes show the King as a good husband and father, and when his wife dies, he is inconsolable. This, along with many characters affirming his kindness, makes me feel unsympathetic to Ravenna’s desire to KILL HIM FOR NO REASON. She legitimately TRICKED HIM (with the fake army as a fake prisoner in the stagecoach) and then killed him because men have been mean to her in the past. She literally NEVER gave him a chance to show his kindness. ANd I am supposed to “root for her” because someone has mistreated her in the past? It’s ok that she killed him because he is “useless and incompetent”? Is it okay when people get murdered in the real world if you deem them to be “useless and incompetent”? What everrrrrr. And I’m supposed to consider Ravenna anything other than a bitch when she LOCKS HER STEP DAUGHTER IN A TOWER FOR LIKE TEN YEARS? What? What has Ravenna ever done to show that she is anything BUT a bitch? What would have really bucked the patriarchal system would be if Ravenna accepted SW as her step daughter and they ruled the world as respectable leaders.

    Next you are annoyed that the final battle happens when Ravenna is in a cleavage bearing gown, while Snow White is in full-on armor. SW came to the castle SPECIFICALLY for battle, to fight, and therefore wears protective clothing. Ravenna never expected to have to fight, so why would she wear anything other than what she wears any other day of the week? She also has magic and magical healing powers so of course she doesn’t NEED armor. Snow White wore a similarly cut dress for the majority of the movie. Congratulations, welcome to Hollywood.

    The women’s village: I thought this was awesome! Women make themselves ugly so they’re not appealing to Ravenna, so they can raise their children in peace. I thought it was an awesome way to rebel against the woman who wanted to *suck out their souls so she could stay beautiful forever*. There aren’t men because they all died in battle. Yes, it would’ve been cool to see them in battle, but we’ve already learned that most of them are single parents OR children and they are either children or have their children to think about.

    About the various kisses– I thought it was great that Snow White had no real love interest and that she was pretty whatever about William. It was a great contrast to a lot of films that portray women as NEEDING men and NEEDING romance to feel complete. And the two kisses from William and the Huntsman… was what was needed to break the curse. Yes, that’s a stupid way to break the curse, and there was something about tears apparently that broke the curse in addition to the kisses (it was on Wikipedia). Yes, it’s stupid that she needed to receive two kisses in order to break the curse, but who gave her that curse? Ravenna, who you are apparently cheering for. You seem to forget this and blame it all on Snow White instead, for needing men to kiss her before she wakes up. I also thought the kiss with fake William was just whatever and I never would have read into it as a “lesbian kiss”.

    Finally, my last few points. The “trick they played as children” happened in the beginning of the film- William picked an apple, offered it to SW, then when she was about to grab it, he wouldn’t let her, took a bite, and ran away. Yes, DUMB GAME But you also have a lot of selective memory when it comes to writing this review. Next, “Whoever in charge of Bella’s makeup forgot she’s not supposed to be a vampire in this movie, so she constantly looks as though she’s just gotten out of her coffin, she’s that pallid.” THE MOVIE IS CALLED SNOW WHITE! Because her SKIN IS AS WHITE AS SNOW! That was also mentioned in the first three minutes of the film.

    I understand you didn’t like the movie but I really felt that you were grasping at straws in a lot of places. It is well within your rights to dislike the movie and write a negative review, but I just felt the need to respond with alternative view points. Also!! There is no way to emphasize without caps so I wasn’t trying to yell, normally I would use bold or itallics. So i’m not yelling throughout this comment, just trying to emphasize what I found the most important.

    • “Grasping at straws”! Honestly, you’re the one grsping at straws! Excuse me while I systematicallyannihilate each and everyone of your arguements.

      Firstly, you seem to have forgotten, (“selective memory”, ha! Noone likes a hypocrite.), the circumstances in which Ravenna was found by the King. She was found as a faked prisoner of an attacking faction and, as soon as the king saw her oh-so-pretty face, he decided he was going to marry her.
      You also do not seem to have grasped the fact of the time-leap between the dirty girl in a wagon miles outside the kingdom, to the dressed-up, clean girl inside the far-off castle. Ravenna had plenty of time to ‘get to know’ the King, she obviously just didn’t like him. ‘See the good in him’ – are you one of those black-and-white idealists?
      This immediate you-are-beautiful-so-I-will-marry-you idea the King was having on would not have really endeared the King to “Feminazi”, (good one!), Ravenna, so she affirmed her belief to kill him. End of story.

      The “LOCKS HER STEP DAUGHTER IN A TOWER FOR LIKE TEN YEARS” was the Queen’s will, as is of all humans’ top priority, to survive. She did not want to grow old and ugly and useless – in her eyes – and so locked up the only possible opposition to her rule and witness to her murder in order to take the throne and survive on it. In fact – did she not show slight compassion? Instead of killing the girl, she imprisoned her. If she was all-evil would the girl not have died? Most characters seemed pretty shocked the Satan-evil Queen hadn’t killed the girl, and she was therefore slightly kinder than they’d assumed by her relation to each of their subjective situations.
      Of course Ravenna couldn’t have “accepted SW as her step daughter”, even if she wanted to! Snow was witness to the King’s murder and showed quite the fear and opposition of Ravenna’s regime when she ran. It just wouldn’t work out – even counseling wouldn’t solve it! Boo-hoo!

      Of course Ravenna had no idea Snow was riding up the beach with her ‘battalion’ of soldiers – that’s also why they managed to sneak in undetected and most certainly did not have flaming cannonballs and arrows and oil flung at them and a full-on war raging around them. Ravenna knew she was coming, did not care, felt confident in her abilities and was attempting to strengthen her powers of sexuality by wearing a low-cut, cleavage-emphasising dress. Done. Besides, why would she bother to hange from her usual clothes for Snow’s confrontation when she was clearly projecting an aura of ‘I don’t care’?

      You don’t seem to understand the barbarism of the women permenantly marking their children. They are irreparably damaging them, causing them to-them-unbearable pain for their low pain-tolerances, scarring them and not giving them a conscious and mature choice in the matter. Phhft. “Cool”.
      Also, how do you think the children were born if there were no men? The men couldn’t have died too long ago because there are some very young children there, and apparently the Duke’s rebellion is the only one heard-of, (and barely at that!), and there was a specific mention of no other uprisings. Then, what about male children? Were all the women cursed into only having female babies, suddenly? Or did they decide to send off six-year-olds to fight in this imaginary battle?
      The…uh…”have their children to think about” bit? Yeah, do the men not have to do that, or what? That a ‘woman’s job’, or something? Didn’t think so.

      The only kiss required was that of the paedophilic-necrophilic huntsman, as was implied with the scenery – you know, the whole ‘Prince-Charming-kisses-the-comatose-girl-awake’ thing those Germans had going on.
      “Lesbian kiss” is what it was, my homophobic friend. You understand – two girls – kissing. The deception of the matter is irrelevant, because the debate is not whether they were in love, but whether they locked lips. They did. So homosexual connotations and blatant implications of such are a check list on that film-maker’s list!

      ‘Trick’. Not much of a trick now, is it, Lovey? ‘I steal your apple. I eat your apple.’ So much deception. I hope you can see my statement is dripping with sarcasm. If you can’t, then I pity you. Though, it does explain a few things, let me tell you…
      On another note, personally, I don’t think she’s honestly that pale. I’m paler than her.

      Noone is accusing you of yelling, my friend. Rather presumptious, don’t you think? You shouldn’t project your insecurities onto other people you know, you’re really just airing your own dirty laundry. Did you notice, I managed to not use any innappropriate capitalizations in my arguement, besides the quotation of your own text. Maybe you can give it a go next time, it’s really not as hard as it looks.

      Arguementatively,
      Bloodyredqueen

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