Monday, November 21, 2011

Snow White - armed and dangerous

How many little girls must have grown up on those old Disney cartoons starring pretty ladies in danger – Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Well it’s time to forget all that sweetness, for new movies are demolishing the dreamy myths.
Epic action-adventure story Snow white and the Huntsman is due out next year. About all that remains from the old story is that Snow White is far too beautiful and the evil queen is out to destroy her. But what the queen, played with blonde menace by Charlize Theron, does not know is that the pretty one has been getting martial-arts training from the very man who’s supposed to be killing her.
So forget Disney’s heroine in puffy sleeves with the perky red bow in her bobbed black hair. Here’s the new Snow White, all grimly armoured up with sharp sword like some latter-day Joan of Arc, ready to hack her enemies to pieces. The archetypal sweet and helpless girl has gone, swept up in the new admiration for Kill Bill-style heroines. You could say, of course, that it was time those dippy Disney heroines toughened up a bit, but I'm kind of uneasy about easily we've got used to girls adept at shooting, stabbing and kung fu kicking.
There is still a prince in the new Snow White movie, though now that the girl herself is so lethal it’s hard to know what purpose he'll serve. Small men are in the cast too, but undoubtedly they won't have cozy names like Happy, Sleepy and Dopy.
The movie's bound to be technically brilliant but the trailer looks oh so dark and certainly not anything you’ll want your five-year-old to see. But given that the movie stars Kristen Stewart from the Twilight series, it's clear the movie's made for teenagers.
What's next, I wonder – a version of Cinderella where she’s water-boarded by the stepsisters, or a Sleeping Beauty being raped by aliens? Tell you what, audiences would probably lap it up. Especially if the heroine gets to wreak bloody vengeance in the end. And meanwhile we keep on wondering why schoolgirls are so ready today to start fights and punch people.

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