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The Huntsman: Winter’s War  : Cold Prequel To Snow White
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Friday, April 22, 2016
Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt

Broken hearts make heartless queens who banish love and finer emotions from their kingdoms. Evil older sister Ravenna has taken over yet another kingdom when she’s confronted with what seems like her nemesis. Younger sister Freya is in love and she soon has a little baby. But Ravenna proves to Freya that her love has betrayed her and Freya loses her baby. Freya’s scream of anguish conjures waves of tiny broken glass pieces. 

Broken-hearted Freya turns into the Ice Queen of her own kingdom where she raises an army of little children cruelly taken away from their families. Missing your mother? That’s love and love is forbidden in this land, love is a sin, she says.

Eric and Sara, two of the children thus trained, grow up into Freya’s best warriors, leading her army to conquer many more lands. It’s when they fall in love with each other that Freya does what her sister had done to her – separate them at any cost, no matter how cruel the deceit.  

Seven years later, Freya eyes Snow White’s kingdom and her mirror of course. In a fantasy world peopled by goblins on an island and dwarves who make a foursome for some light humour, Eric and Freya are reunited only to find that all’s not well with their love.

The prequel to Snow White And The Huntsman is a longwinded and predictable tale of betrayal and cold-hearted manipulations.  Ultimately, in trying to fight Eric and Sara’s love, Freya discovers what her own older sister had done to her baby all those eons ago. The cold war between the sisters is a fight to the finish.

The prequel ends saying Eric and Sara’s love and love in all other forms lives on and Snow White’s kingdom is safe for now.        

More than the chemistry of the lovers, paradoxically, it’s the icy siblings played by Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt who scorch the screen, Charlize with her calculated evilness and Emily as cold but vulnerable Freya. Chris Hemsworth as Eric the huntsman who won’t give up on love adds a chunk of hunk-value.

Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan relies more on freezing wow special effects than on Evan Daugherty’s story which is just another grandma’s tale.

For a film that doesn’t enthusiastically spur you on to the sequel, The Huntsman: Winter’s War gets a 2* rating.

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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