Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Blancanieves is about about the daughter of a very famous bullfighter, whos wife died giving birth to her. She is named after her late mother, Carmen. Her father is injured in the bullfighting ring - suspending him to a wheelchair. Most of her life she grows up under the care of her step-mother who is cruel; making her do hard work around the house, forcing her to sleep in a dirty basement on the floor, prohibiting her from seeing her father, and many other things. Her step-mother eventually kills the father and attempts to kill Carmen as well. Luckily, she is saved by a team of bullfighting dwarves, although her memory is now gone. 

The first, very obvious stylistic choice you notice is the fact that it is presented as a silent film despite being made in 2012. I honestly dont know what the intention of this was, maybe the director wanted to give a homage or maybe he felt his story would best be told in this style. I also noticed the music was sometimes reminiscent of that time period and sometimes modern. I noticed a use of the theremin - which was used commonly for "creepy" scenes in old sci-fi films. I liked how the text wasnt only used for dialogue or to explain time passages, but also stylistic ways like showing the names next to the dwarves and when Carmen is looking Pepe and a single "?" appears on the screen. 

At some point, you'll begin to notice the obvious allusion to Snow White. Everything from the evil queen, the apple, and the 7 dwarves are all reflected in this movie. I believe the director wanted to make this movie a Spanish-themed retelling of Snow White. Even though the fairy tale is referenced in the film itself as well. I wasn't very thrilled by this decision, as I was expecting something new when I watched this movie. Then again, it was different enough to hold my interest and still entertaining at parts.

The editing was pretty good in this film. Even subtle things like- the skull that flashes on the screen in the beginning when the father is mauled by the bull is the same skull that is overlayed on the apple the step-mother gives to Carmen. There was an excellent montage of clips perfectly synched to the clapping music of footage from the film showing that Carmen has regained her memory of past events. All the cinematography was solid, and convincing acting despite being mute. The film making itself was all pretty solid overall, but nothing terribly interesting to me personally.

Overall, this movie was alright for me. Nothing too great, didn't really encapsulate my interest. The story wasnt interesting or different enough for me - it felt very plain and predictable with no turns keeping you on edge. Again, the story was basically just a retelling of Snow White, in a 1920s mexican setting. Same with the cinematography - solid, just not extraordinarily impressive. I felt the obvious limitations that come with a silent film in this day and age were not compensated properly - visually and audibly - to appeal to most people. Personally, I feel that if you are going to make a silent film in this age, at least add a unique, modern twist. 3/5

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