Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman: Spiritual Implications?

When I see films like "Snow White and the Huntsman" I can't help but wonder if Hollywood intentionally put the spirituality in there or if it was just dumb luck?! With Hollywood it is hard to ascertain sometimes.

If it was intentional, were they doing it just to be "evangelical friendly" to get the Blind Side audience or were the filmmakers really trying to make a point? I hope it was the latter.

Considering John Lee Hancock (writer/ director of the aforementioned film, The Blind Side) was one of the writers of "Snow White" I think they may have been trying here...which I have to say makes me pleased.

The analogies are many with Snow White's character being analogous to Christ and the Evil Queen to Satan. The 7 (or 8) dwarves could even be compared to the disciples if you want to take it further. Once they know who she is, they quickly follow her and even die to protect her. A few lines really stuck out to me and I may misquote them a bit, but the main point will come across. When walking through the dark forest which is an evil place that seems to kill most people who enter, the Huntsman tells Snow White that it gets stronger as she gets weaker. Sort of like Satan, the more he can beat us down and we allow him to, the stronger of a hold he has on us. When we are weak we are opening the door and it is so easy for him to attack. We have to stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Eph 6:10)! Snow White may have put on shiny armor, but we have the armor of God, we just have to use it!

Another part that really stood out was when Snow White is in the serene place and she comes across the white stag....they ask the Huntsman how did he not know who she was, he had been walking with her for all this time. "You have eyes huntsman but you do not see. You, who have been with her the longest. She is life itself, she will heal the land. She is the one. Can't you feel it? Are your ailments not gone? Gold or no gold, where she leads, I follow." We realize so many people pass through this life and have had Christ right there walking beside them, but they are too daft, stubborn, or just plain resistant to acknowledge Him and what he wants to do for them. Like Snow White, Jesus wants to save us and set us free. He wants to make our burdens light. It doesn't mean life will always be easy, but it does mean we will never have to walk the road alone.

Snow White's blood is the fairest of all and only she can save the kingdom from the Queen's Satanic rule...does this sound familiar? They follow her in life and in death. She seems to come back from the dead and then instigates the masses to destroy evil. She says to the Queen at the end before she defeats her, "I am everything you are not." That is Christ, He is everything Satan is not. Christ is all good, all loving, all powerful. Everything Satan does and is comes from a place of evil, he wants to destroy us, cripple us and dishearten us. If we allow him an inch into our lives he will take it and run.  Christ may allow hard times, but like the refiner's fire he may be working on us to burn away the dirt and grime to leave us polished and beautiful! The Bible tells us clearly that we may be persecuted, BUT not abandoned; struck down, BUT not destroyed (2. Cor 4:9). Know that, believe that, take that promise and run with it!

There is also a whole other topic about beauty and striving for that at any cost. The Queen will do anything to stay young and beautiful. Our society today unfortunately tells girls and women that beauty is so important. The airbrushed magazine covers, the plastic surgery, the ever present search for anything to stay youthful...when will we be content knowing that we are beautiful in God's eyes?

From a critical standpoint, Charlize Theron is stunning and portrays the Queen hauntingly well. Brilliant casting choice! Chris Hemsworth does a fine job as the Huntsman and doesn't let down his Thor audience while newcomer Sam Claflin hits the mark as Prince William. Taking a page out of her Twilight playlist, Kristen Stewart does a lot of running and looking scared. She plays the part adequately but in my opinion there may have been a better choice, wondering if she was a "packaging" deal?

Although this film is dark, I really think there were a lot of moral lessons that could be learned and if this wasn't Hollywood's mission.... well then what Satan might have meant for harm God turned into good =) If it was their intent, then happy that they are trying!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We Bought A Zoo (but we marketed it poorly)

Over the break I went to see the film We Bought A Zoo, partly because I usually like anything with Matt Damon and partly because people seemed to have good things to say about it. Although the film was only rated PG there was quite a bit of swearing in it. Considering Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire) directed it that shouldn't surprise me, however the PG rating I feel was a bit misguided. While in line to get my tickets there were lots of people lining up with young children (a lot probably under 8). If you watched the previews and didn't go on a site like or how would you know what you were in for? Thankfully I had looked at those sites and decided against bringing my 7 and 4 year olds, very glad I made that choice. Even during the film I heard a voice say "this is rated PG?" Then after the film was over, I saw the boy who I believe belonged to the voice I heard earlier and he said (to I assume his Mom this time) "that was PG? There was a lot of harsh language, the MPAA must be changing their rules" pretty precocious, he was probably between 10-12. I almost wanted to congratulate him for noticing...why does an 11 year old boy understand this better than people running the MPAA?
The other thing I found odd/ironic was the title "We Bougt A Zoo" which they say several times during the film to make sure we get it =) when in fact the name of the place is Rosemoor Wildlife Park...I get that the title "We Bought A Wildlife Park" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue quite the same. So the film industry gets the marketing from a title standpoint, but they seem to be falling short marketing a film like this as a "family film."
As a film for adults it was decent and pretty well acted. I just don't see how a film that is really about a family getting over the loss of their mother/wife should ever be marketed toward children (or families), even without the use of words like sh*t, bullsh*it, hell, Jesus, a**hole, not to mention a little girl using the word di*k. PG-13 would have been a better choice.
Lastly I found it funny that in the ads there is a picture of a Zebra wrapped in a bow...we barely see the zebras in the film, the tigers are the stars....was it too hard to get the bow on the tiger....or did they not want it to look like Mandalay was putting this one out?