A Grimm Take on Recent Snow White Retellings
The story of Snow White has been retold many times since the original story was collected by the Grimm brothers in the early 1800s. The original is actually quite dark and involves a corset and poisoned comb in addition to the standard (and comparatively tame) poisoned apple. While the old versions of Snow White entail her being saved by a prince, recent retellings have shifted and made Snow White a more modern woman who’s fully capable of saving herself. Mostly.
In Mirror Mirror, released earlier this year, Snow White’s beauty isn’t the threat to the evil Queen; it’s how beloved she is by the kingdom’s people. In order to solidify her reign, the Queen sends her to the woods to be abandoned and then killed by an evil creature living there. Hijinks ensue, and Snow White ends up at the doorway to the seven dwarves, who are instead a band of thieves. Snow White later defeats the great evil with some help from the prince, though she actually does a bit of the heavy lifting. In the end, the Queen is killed by her own hubris rather than an actual killing blow dealt by our heroine or any of her companions. Mirror Mirror is definitely a comedy rather than a true representation of the original Snow White tale since only the barest thread of the original Grimm story remains.
Snow White and the Huntsman may stay more true to the original Grimm tale in some ways, but the ending is still modern, with Snow White being taught to fight by the Huntsman and battling to save her kingdom from the queen. Unlike Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman tries to take itself seriously, questionable acting abilities of Kristen Stewart aside. Snow White is the only one that can defeat the Queen, making her more crucial in battle. This version tries to give more backstory to characters to further explain the machinations of Ravenna (evil queen in this film), with limited success. Rather than the one clear-cut romantic interest, the romance lines are blurred between the Huntsman and the Prince. Snow White and the Huntsman is definitely a Twlight-esque take on the original fairy tale.
In recent years, there has been an influx of fairy tales turned into films – some of those films take a darker turn while others make the story more accessible for the modern child. As a bit of a literary purist, I tend to enjoy the original stories over the film adaptations, and I can’t really say that both of these films have their merits in regards to their accuracy – they don’t. Neither film is a true or even halfway decent representation of the original Grimm fairytale; they're merely loose interpretations of the original. Neither is based on the Grimm fairytale; they’re merely inspired by it. I'm all for modern takes on old stories, but at least try to pay some homage to the original fairy tale, more so than in just a name and poison apple.