The first thing you should know, is that the film is a must see… But, in order to understand what I loved about it, I have to first share what disappointed me… When the film opens, I see evil Queen Ravenna being evil. Yes, I know she’s the evil queen and yes I’m laughing at my statement. But, I expected to finally learn more about Ravenna’s past. I expected to discover how she became evil.
In the first film, Snow White & The Huntsman, her words to the king pricked into my skin. “I was ruined by a king like you once.” Ravenna told him, while he gave no attention to her words, but only focused intently on the taste of her skin. I watched her continue reading her mental journal aloud, with her eyes wide open and in a state of consciousness that he would hear none of what she said, until he felt death upon him… It was that moment that compelled the need to see how ruin constructed the person I was looking at… This cold person who committed this cruel act, still managed to show hurt, even through eyes showing vengeance… I saw a person who needed help mentally, wondered if she would receive it, but only met her demise.
I needed there to be a part two and had no idea this story would continue on. And, then came “The Huntsman: Winter’s War.”…You know the feeling when you haven’t had coffee for about a week, because you drink too much? Then you finally get a cup of your unique design? The hand tremble is like the feel of the absentee Monday cup. The warmth from the cup, sending traces of anticipation through your veins is like the absentee Tuesday cup. The whiff vented from the cup circling under your nose is like the desire of the absentee Wednesday cup. The parting of your lips as you slide in the lid, needing it to be upon your tongue and wave its velvety, sweet substance through your mouth is like the need of the absentee Thursday cup. The satisfaction of it crashing down to your insides is like the absentee Friday cup that you caved in and had to have, to satisfy your hunger…. That’s what it was like…
I finally got the cup and a sip of its sweetness, but then someone knocked it from my hand… and I was left wanting. That’s what the disappointment was like while watching the film. Rather than being able to see the prequel of Ravenna’s heart before the ruin, I was shown a deeper evil. And still, there was no true help for her, or recognition of other characters seeing what I was made to see… that despite her evil deeds, she still managed to feel hurt, which implies she can’t be completely cold.
However, as a result of Ravenna’s deeper evil, was the reveal of her sister Freya’s heart. Which was a huge highlight and possibility of things to come. Through the film I watched Freya give in to the cold and abandon emotion after being betrayed. Believing the man she loved murdered their child to protect his status, prompted her to kidnap children. In her eyes, this was done in an effort to protect them from being hurt by their loved ones, the way that she was. In doing so, she raised them as her huntsmen. They were trained to be loyal, but ordered not to give in to love.
As fate would have it, two of these children fell in love and rebelled against their mother queen. This angered Freya and deserved the deepest of punishments in her eyes, since she despised and had no faith in love… The two huntsmen were then brought before her, hand in hand, and in one heart, ready to accept their punishment together. They were surrounded by Freya’s other huntsmen, who to each-other were like brother and sisters. One was appointed the task to end their lives. But, when the time came he chose to fight with them and incited a revolt against Freya and Ravenna who stood at her side.
Seeing real love and loyalty amongst the non-blood related siblings she raised, melted Freya’s heart. As Ravenna attacked to kill, Freya yells out, “Leave my children alone!!!” and protects them!!! Then, holding an already fragile heart in hand, she discovers her own sister was responsible for murdering her child… The gray clouds of pain were thick, emotions heavy and beat of hearts loud like thunder. Yet Freya remained beautifully vengeance free.
Rather than viciously kill her sister, she grabbed hold of her to freeze her in place. The end result without ruining too much for the virgin viewer is that neither was left standing. As Freya lays on the floor, meeting the eyes of her two children, she tells them that they are lucky. She tells them this, because their love was able to survive while hers could not… In this moment, seeing her watch her children who witnessed her protecting them, I waited for some form of return from them to their mother… I forgive you, it’s ok or simply thank you. But, there was nothing… Their lack of care towards her took away a facet that should have had the opportunity to shine.
These two children possessed a pure love and pure hearts, despite the trickery used to keep them apart. It was in their nature to forgive the woman who raised them and to be touched by her changed heart. But, instead they only stared back at Freya with a coldness, while clutching each-other in their own relief. Which is a typical reaction of selfish people in a relationship, who only thinks about themselves. These two people cared about others and would have responded with compassion to Freya’s last words and look of admiration. Had we been able to see this, I would have sobbed, because love triumphed… because compassion was still shown, and because two people in a relationship realizes that a family relationship is just as significant as a romantic one. The lack of character nurturing here, made the diamond incomplete.
But, make no mistake that it is still a diamond, even without the missing facets. I’m hoping with such extremities, that another part of the film will follow, and will finally provide proper mending of this jewel. What gave me a massive amount of hope is that it seems, just maybe, the writer intended to hint that Freya recognized the small remaining feeling left deep inside Ravenna… and just maybe, in the next film a vital character will recognize, pull it out and provoke redemption. For me, that would make the diamond, perfect and complete.