Even though it was released in 2011, there is no way of reviewing Blancanieves today without making comparison to the Best Picture winner from two years ago, The Artist. Both are modern silent films which attempt the appearance of being much older than they are, for no clear reason.
With The Artist, it was a silent film about the difficulties a silent movie star had with the advent of sound, something which we only fully understand with the film’s only spoken words at the film’s conclusion. Blancanieves, on the other hand, has no clear reason beyond novelty for being made as a silent film. This doesn’t make it a bad film, although it is somewhat inexplicably stylistic in these retro film choices.
In addition to the silent-film style, the narrative is borrowed from the familiar tale of “Snow White,” with all magical elements removed. Taking place in 1920s
, the movie
utilizes bullfighting into the storyline, while keeping all of the classic
elements of the narrative. The seven dwarves become seven bullfighting dwarves,
and the beautiful Carmen is the latest addition to their show after she is
found in the wilderness nearly killed. As we know from the familiar story,
Carmen was meant to be killed at the order of her evil step-mother. With no
memory of who she is, Carmen begins a new life with the dwarves and as a
This is clever, albeit unnecessary, filmmaking. It is an enjoyable little art piece which relies a bit too heavily on one stylistic concept, but somehow manages to remain engaging with a slight variation on the beloved fairytale. The DVD features include a making-of featurette and a director’s introduction. There is also a live concert of Blancanieves from
and . Madrid
Entertainment Value: 7/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance: 7/10
Disc Features: 7/10