Charlize Theron plays Ravina, an evil cursed woman who lives forever feeding on the youth of others and killing kings only to rule in their place. She kills Snow Whites (played by Kirsten Stewart) father and imprisons her, only to be told by her mirror that Snow Whites beating heart is her path to immortality. Thus ensues a cat and mouse game between Snow White who manages to escape Ravinas prison and the evil witch herself. Albeit, like in the fairy tale, seven dwarfs help Snow White in her ordeal, yet the huntsman is the real hero who helps her through the dark forests and in the war against her fathers killer.
The films real victory is in the interesting manner that dark brooding characters and situations are created. Theron as the evil Ravina is deliciously beautiful and conniving at the same time- she performs with gusto and gives the character a dark edgy feel. Snow whites trek through the dark forest is the other brilliantly imagined portion with monsters, death eater like souls and other sundry creatures.
The greatest flaw with the film too lies in this very part- the makers take far too long in establishing and fleshing out this dark side to the story, with some sequences that are just there for their visual appeal and do not add much in terms of progression of the story.
Kirsten Stewart as Snow White is the other weak link in the story. Her singular expression carried on from her Twilight days is not enough for a demanding role like this and she ends up making the character nothing more than a pretty looking cardboard. Rest of the cast is competent yet nothing to talk home about.
The film has its moments though, be the nicely done war sequences in the climax or the way Ravina transforms into this huge swarm of Ravens, or has a bath in milk, there are some visually stunning pieces throughout the movie.
Characters are fleshed out, given back stories and immensely grey shades. What belies the film however is some tardy editing and over indulgence. Watch it without expecting anything and you may well be surprised. Watch it for A superb turn by Theron if not for anything else.