The Huntsman

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What is it about? :: The movie begins a long time before the incidents which were depicted in Snow White and the Huntsman, as Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), the dark sorceress finds out that her younger sister Freya (Emily Blunt) has an affair with Andrew (Colin Morgan), and is carrying her child. But the marriage doesn’t happen as Andrew is engaged to someone else, and after giving birth to a baby girl, Freya on a dark night, sees that he has murdered their child. This unleashes an uncontrolled fury in her which brings out the hidden powers of ice and snow from inside her, killing her lover and transforming her love into hate. She abandons her sister’s kingdom and comes up with a new kingdom in the north which is covered in ice and snow under her power.

So what happens next? :: It is a new world of depression and sadness that she creates far north to the kingdom of her sister who unleashes her own evil. She gets children kidnapped so that they could be trained to become remorseless huntsmen, who were to become part of her army. She raises the group to become her soldiers who know no love and has no regret. All of them trains to become the elite group of huntsmen who are feared and fight her battles. Soon she finds the best of them in Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain), but they only fall in love many years later, something that she can never agree to. She successfully separates them, and the former lives in the grief of having watched the latter die.

And then to the present :: Then the scene shifts to many years later, after the incidents of the first movie, as Eric is wandering through the forest only to find that Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is ill and the magic mirror has gone missing. Freya is having an eye on these lands, and the dark magic in the mirror threatens the kingdom. Now it is up-to Eric the Huntsman to save the day and he is joined by Nion (Nick Frost) and his half-brother Gryff (Rob Brydon). Two other dwarves Bromwyn (Sheridan Smith) and Doreena (Alexandra Roach) also join their team. There will be magic and there shall be goblins on their way. Freya has sent her own team of huntsmen, but another big surprise awaits them. What about true love? Does it go beyond death and devastation?

The defence of The Huntsman: Winter’s War :: There is one thing that a person can be sure about here, and it is that The Huntsman: Winter’s War is cent percent a better movie than its predecessor Snow White and the Huntsman which was so empty a movie with empty expressions from its heroine. We also have some of the most amazing visuals here, with all the magic around. The snow and ice on the screen never ceases to be interesting. With magical creatures added, there is the further scope for visual beauty an that is explored very well here. The final scene of battle is also a very good one, which means that the movie manages to finish off really well. It is mostly all that a fairy-tale should be, and is a clear improvement from the predecessor; the lower box-office collection should go to the credit of the terrible predecessor which had already ruined the opinion about what was to follow.

The claws of flaw :: There are those predictable lines going through this movie too. A number of things can be guessed, and there is no real attempt to try differently either. The journey from a prequel to sequel goes rather strange too – it could have been just the sequel with a very small flashback and that could have worked out perfectly. There is also the chance to make use of its potential, which is not fully taken. Charlize Theron is underused, and we needed more battles of magic like the final one. In a movie in which there are two evil sorceresses, we see a little too less use of powerful magic. There is also the case of the mirror which should have been better utilized. There are those times when the direction of the movie is a little doubtful and some of the jokes also go on without making the desired effect.

Performers of the soul :: Even though Charlize Theron is there only for a few minutes, she has that kind of a presence that is strong enough to steal the show. We are sure to ask for more of her. Meanwhile, Emily Blunt shines in her ice and snow avatar while Jessica Chastain remains just okay in her role as the huntswoman. Maybe these two could have switched their roles to bring a better effect as we all know what the former is capable of in such a role with her Rita Vrataski in Edge of Tomorrow. Chris Hemsworth continues the same thing as he did with the earlier movie, and that manages to be okay. The actors and actresses who played the dwarves bring some good fun. It is nice to have gotten rid of Kristen Stewart’s Snow White though, as that certainly made things a lot better.

How it finishes :: As many other fairy-tales, this one also focuses on that one special thing, which is true love. The main idea here itself is about the two main protagonists and the lost love even though the villains do steal the show in between. It is the usual battle between love and hate that goes on here, and the much awaited defeat of evil waiting to happen by the finish. As a whole, The Huntsman: Winter’s War is an entertaining movie which takes those usual elements of fairy-tales and deals them well enough with some interesting messages. It was just too much underrated by the audience and the critics judging it as a part of its predecessor. There are things that fairy-tales could do, and this one thankfully knows that well enough.

Release date: 22nd April 2016
Running time: 114 minutes
Directed by: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Nick Frost, Sam Claflin, Rob Brydon, Alexandra Roach, Sheridan Smith, Sope Dirisu, Colin Morgan, Fred Tatasciore, Sam Hazeldine, Sophie Cookson, Madeleine Worrall, Kristen Stewart

thehuntsman

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Frozen

frzen

Ice and Snow :: Here is something from Robert Frost: “Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice” – I would remember those lines from the poet very often. It is only my second favourite from him after “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. Lets leave the fire to any of the fire elementals and fire-breathing dragons as that would be another story. Let bring ice and snow; as the poet would love to watch the woods filling up with snow, and also talk about that destruction by ice, we were given those thoughts about snow and ice, not something people of this part of the world are too familiar with. Yes, the interest in snow was nicely built up to such an extent that I had winter wallpapers on my desktop for a very long time – that started when I was a kid, and we had the latter poem to study in the earlier classes, and the only thing which I liked slightly better was “Daffodils”.

What is Frozen? :: All that talk about ice and snow would take me back to the only one animated movie in the theatre right now. There is nothing repulsive about that feeling, as I am not talking about that 2010 movie when people get trapped in the snow and get eaten by wolves. Well, that was a good movie too, but that kind of atmosphere never comes to the picture this time. I have always felt something about snow, but I have never seen it with my eyes or felt it. I have felt the temperatures close enough to zero degree Celsius, but never snow. Then I decided to experience snow in 3D with a movie, and from the current situation, I am pretty sure that it is the closest to falling snow that I can get. To add to it, this one is also the next brilliant animated movie from Walt Disney after Tangled. Brave was not bad, it was of inferior standard compared to the other Disney movies. The rest didn’t interest me either. But, after a three year gap, Frozen has made me fall in love with Disney yet again. It came in 3D and with the AC in the theatre, it was a world of snow, and it was alive with all the emotions.

The Setting :: The movie is set in the kingdom of Arendelle, a world of magic. It is the story of two sisters, the princesses of the kingdom, Anna and Elsa, with the latter having the powers to manipulate and control the elements of frost. But as the latter’s powers accidently hits the former while playing in snow, her life is only saved by a group of trolls who erase the memory of Anna and warns Elsa of her powers becoming too powerful for her to control. As days pass, Elsa becomes more of a recluse, afraid of herself and unable to control her powers and thus transforming her room into a snow world and keeping away from Anna who doesn’t know what keeps them apart. The doors of the castle are kept closed so that nobody comes to know about the secret. Anna also keeps to herself and the world inside the castle. The king and the queen takes special care to the fact that the balance is not broken, and the world remains the same.

What is it about? :: The action takes place three years after the death of their parents. The children have grown up, and despite the reclusive nature of Elsa, she becomes the default heir to the kingdom and has to fight her inner demons of frost to take over the throne. The gates of the castle are finally opened and people come in. Anna takes this as an opportunity to fall in love, as there would be celebration and she can search for her true love. She meets Prince Hans of the Southern Isles and falls for him. Elsa somehow manages to keep her powers inside until Anna tells her that she wants to marry the prince whom she just met. Elsa refuses to grant her blessings for her sister to marry someone whom she doesn’t really know much about, and as a result, there an argument which leads to the powers of Elsa coming out in the form of ice, and even reaching that extent that the whole kingdom is covered in snow and even the ships get stuck in the ice as she flees to the top of the mountains in the forest. But Elsa is feels herself responsible and is determined to bring her back with the help of a mountain man, a reindeer and a snowman.

The defence of Frozen :: It is the best use of snow and ice in a movie after Rise of the Guardians, and the best animated movie since the release of that one in December 2012. Well, that one had an ordinary box-office performance, but that won’t be the case of Frozen, one can say that. The movie’s most adorable part is its snowman. The movie’s treatment of the story and characters are interesting, as there is no big villain out there, and the snow queen doesn’t go the evil way. There are lesser evil people for sure, but none extreme. The act of true love is no longer romantic, and that is the best part- there should be sacrifice. There is also the stupidity for frail romance and the vain “love at first sight” theory mocked. The songs are beautiful and its visual treat is even more stunning. Frozen makes Brave looks like a little creature who can only say “precious”. How did that creature win the Academy Award for Best Animated Film is still a mystery for me – it was so empty with a lead character who makes people wonder if their sons and daughters are better as reckless, shameless children who defy their parents who know what is better? Well, our heroine here knows the importance of family.

Plus and minus :: There might be too much music for the elder people, even as the humour can keep them attached to the movie. It is also very loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen (similarities are to be created rather than found). The heroine reminds one of Rapunzel of Tangled, not used to going out of her world and being in love with a random person whom she meets on the way while pretending to be courageous and smart. Yes, there is that reindeer instead of the horse and our snowman is indeed better than that chameleon. You will love his ideas about summer, that is for sure. Its a little bit of doing the same thing under disguise, but the fact that it is enjoyable, and there are some good addition makes this fantastic. Elsa is more like X-Men‘s Rogue controlling her powers only with her gloves, and there are trolls who are more like dwarves – funny ones for sure. If Anna catches out attention, Elsa melts our heart! If you don’t like snow, then this movie will lose its awesomeness of 3D snowflakes and everything visual. Yes, it is better than Despicable Me 2, the overrated animated movie of the year which was also very good.

How it finishes :: Frozen comes up with so much goodness, and the message of sisterly love and affection, and it supports one’s right to be different (even as the variation in the character of the so called chivalrous prince was rather too much). Its assertion that love for beauty is so much flawed, and its call for the society to accept the people with differences and also asserts one’s right to choose to be alone. It is only family that can deny the same. It is a true musical fairy tale in the form of an animated movie. Even as there could have been more in store concerning the cold and darkness (as said by Boogeyman in Rise of the Guardians), and there could have been more concerning the frost powers. But for now, we can be satisfied with the power of true love and all that ends well, and as they all live happily ever after – not that much of a spoiler there, as you all know how these movies are to end; even our snowman gets his own snow cloud to follow him during summer. It is our movie of this weekend – The Hunger Games releases here next week!

Release date: 29h November 2013 (India); 27th November 2013 (US)
Running time: 108 minutes
Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Starring (voice): Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Alan Tudyk, Santino Fontana, Ciarán Hinds, Chris Williams, Jack Whitehall

frozen copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.