'The Huntsman: Winter's War'
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Nick Frost, Rob Brydon
'The Huntsman: Winter's War'. Pic/Santa Banta
This film, strong on imagination and icy thrills, delves deeper into the past, to wrangle out a struggle for supremacy through magic, illusion and mayhem, much before Snow White's time.
Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) of 'Snow White And the Huntsman' fame has just overthrown her besotted husband in a diabolical palace coup and assumed reign of the Kingdom while her younger sister Freya (Emily Blunt), yet a novice to their hereditary magical powers, suffers a heartbreak and betrayal strong enough to banish herself into an artic wild.
Freya sets about kidnapping young children in an attempt to set up an invincible army of future huntsmen. Together with her ability to freeze any enemy, she hopes to capture the world around her and command a loveless existence from her subjects. Unfortunately, the two most promising huntsmen in her fold, Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) have fallen in love and are seeking escape. Now an accomplished sorceress, Freya is aware of their betrayal and fools them into turning against each other. While the two lovers come to terms with the sorceress' machinations, Freya learns of her sister's demise and summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only one left who can harness its power. Then she discovers that Ravenna can be resurrected from its golden depths. So, together, the wicked sisters threaten enchantment with twice the darkest force it's ever seen. So now it's up to the banished ex-lovers to reunite and use their considerable skill to vanquish the near impossible.
Dark and chilling in it's effrontery, this high-stakes doom laden quest is a little too squabbled and itinerant in it's development. The advent of dwarves (including the female variety) add playful shtick to narrative but it also tends too saggy and blunt. Eric, though bootilicious enough for female fans, doesn't quite measure up as a hero with hidden dimensions or complexities. Even the supremely accomplished Chastain as Sara, in definitive make-up, medieval chic and stiffly Scots accent, fails to override the colourlessly deformed characterization she is lumped with. Emily Blunt's Freya is chilling enough but there's a fragility there that is endearing while Theron's Ravenna reprises the gilded becoming of the earlier outing. The digital tech on display here is probably the best that money can buy. First time feature helmer Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who took over the reins from Rupert Sanders, and was involved in visual effects mounting of 'Snow White and the Huntsman', makes an all-out effort to embellish the narrative with techno-wizardry that after a point loses its charm. The lack of character detailing curtails the enjoyment to an extent while the erratic non-linear narrative adds to the woes. Nevertheless, there's still plenty more to enjoy!
Watch the trailer of 'The Huntsman: Winter's War'