Jessica Chastain, Emma Blunt and Charlize Theron together onscreen are the reasons I went to see this movie — sorry Chris Hemsworth!
But, it’s not that he wasn’t an absolute delight in this one playing Eric, the Huntsman post-Snow White assuming the throne. He’s lighter, laughs and jokes and since I think I watched half of the first Snow White movie and lost interest, I can’t seem to remember if this was true of his character in that one. And has insane chemistry with Jessica Chastain, who plays Sara his wife.
So, I’m rushing ahead of myself: awhile I go was confused about the two trailers that were released for it because the synopsis for the movie said it was post-the first movie, but the trailers told a story of before. It didn’t make it clear that the movie would be fleshing out Eric’s past, which would tie into the future and present of his story with Snow.
A long time ago, per the Liam Neeson voice over, Ravanna had a sister she adored, Freya who had not yet had her magic manifest like Ravanna’s had. Instead, she fell in love, had a child instead, the child the Mirror told Ravanna would be more beautiful than she was…wasn’t that supposed to be Snow White? I can’t seem to recall what happened in that movie it’s kind of a blank space for me at the moment. Snow doesn’t have much any presence in this story and that’s pretty much established early on, but I kept expecting a revelation later on that never came.
So, Freya’s lover — hi Colin Morgan — kills their child and when Freya kills him with her power — of ice and cold — well, Ravanna gets her wish. She leaves Ravanna to make her own kingdom, and with some heavy-handed storytelling, she rescues children of her lands from their parents and love. I know, I know alright, it’s not the best story for a talent like Emily Blunt’s but, the magic with her part comes when she shares her time with Ravanna. They’re more than equals now, but Ravanna is still her sister and there are moments when Freya is still vulnerable in front of her despite her power. Later, they eat up the scenery in this and it’s awesome. Epic.
Jessica Chastain’s Sara is badass. More than an equal for Eric, and more besides. They meet as children in Freya’s stronghold , grow up and fall in love and break Freya’s only rule: no love. By this time, I convinced myself that since this is actually occurring within a world where fairytales are a thing, this rule makes perfect sense. Freya manages to separate our two lovers for seven years, before they find themselves back together, with Sara hating Eric for leaving her behind. But, Eric swears he saw her die, and so Freya’s deception and magic comes to light. Not that it matters, she hates him too much.
That lasts longer than I thought it would, but the journey there is absolute fun. Jessica Chastain’s Sara lights up the screen when she appears, even if it it because she’s pissed at Eric. Eric himself is still utterly besotted by her, even … well, there’s an plot development I should’ve seen coming but didn’t. I blame Jessica Chastain, she blinded me by her awesomeness.
The ending is predictable, but you know what I didn’t mind. To put it simply, it’s enjoyable, and sometimes that’s all you need from a good movie — that and a happy ending. Isn’t that what fairytales are about after all?