Sometimes truth comes to us more clearly and powerfully through fiction; thus, I’ve always loved a good fairy tale. Recently my wife and I went to see Snow White and the Huntsman, and yes I know that it only earned a 49% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I really liked this movie. I liked it when I walked out of the theater and the more I’ve thought about the movie since, the more I like it. This movie was a fun, gritty, un-Disneyfied telling of the tale that visually had moments that remind me of some of Guillermo del Toro’s work. But what I liked most, is that’s its a fairy tale movie that helps us better understand the gospel and our lives in the world.
Now, I’m sure the writers and director didn’t mean to show the gospel, but that’s the power of good fiction and the reality that all good fiction is God-haunted. There are so many allusions to the gospel in this movie that I almost don’t know where to start. In this post I’ll focus on the theme of evil and I’ll take on some other ideas in a couple of following posts.
Throughout the movie the contrast between good and evil is almost palpable. Unlike most movies and stories today (see Wicked for example) the line between good and evil gets blurred (and to be honest sometimes it’s hard to see the line), but here evil is evil and good is good. Queen Ravenna is a twisted self-absorbed character focused on her own preservation and life. What a great picture of our lives as fallen humanity. Outside of Christ our hearts are twisted inward and we become so focused on our own needs and wants that others simply become a means to our own happiness and preservation. At the end of the day most of us like to attempt to control our destinies and, like Ravenna, think we’re a little more important than we really are.
Along the same lines, I loved the way good and evil connected with the created order. When Ravenna takes over the kingdom, nature itself starts to die in a visual display of her own destructive nature. This is also true of the goodness of Snow White. In a great scene Snow White enters a land where evil has not yet touched, the realm of the fairies where she is greeted by a great stag who has come to see this redeemer. One of the seven dwarfs remarks “She is life itself, she will heal the land. She is the one.” It reminds me that creation itself looks forward to redemption and has been subjected to the affects of sin. (Romans 8:18-23) The truth is that not only are we fallen, but the created order itself has been twisted by the fall of humanity, the world is simply not the way it ought to be.
This movie does a great job of showing the effects of sin on ourselves and all of nature. In the following posts I plan on taking a look at the way Snow White serves as a Christ figure throughout the story and the way fiction can function as revelation of truth.