Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Queen Takes Queen: The Huntsman Winter's War

If Freya reminds you of Elsa from the animated film Frozen, that's not a coincidence; why? Elsa was originally cast as a villain in Frozen; why? Because she froze everything, a traditional symbol of socialism (because nothing grows under socialist rule except the bank accounts of the Party members; the economy doesn't grow, education doesn't expand, people grow, but they grow hard in their hearts like Freya does). The Huntsman Winter's War, then, is almost like a public service announcement trying to tell people that they shouldn't like Frozen, which is possibly why people didn't go to see it: they prefer to feel rather than think. Whenever there are siblings in a narrative, especially when those siblings are in conflict with one another, it means  we are seeing two things that are related, but not identical, such as different forms of government. The image above demonstrates how both Ravenna and Freya are two faces of the same tyranny: there might be different features between the two, but they are the same.
The Huntsman Winter's War opens with a scene with which we are familiar: Ravenna (Charlize Theron) tempting a king during a chess game, and then killing him. Why? We know Ravenna is the very face of power-hunger, but, again, why? Consistent with Snow White and the Huntsman, Ravenna presents herself to the king she's about to kill as the "pawn that brings down a kingdom," that is, socialism, who mobilizes those who feel themselves to be pawns in society against those they identify as being powerful, the kings. Ravenna's second introduces her sister Freya (Emily Blunt) who is pregnant out of wedlock (again, socialism always encourages promiscuity because it's a easier life than chastity and women who get pregnant become dependent upon the government for support); then, Ravenna kills the baby, and we know that socialist countries have the highest abortion rates because the government is determined to control the population and not let anyone take their place (which the infant daughter will do when she grows and becomes fairest herself). So, what about Freya: is she a good queen, or a bad queen? 
According to Freya, Ravenna always lets her win in chess; why? For two reasons. First, Freya isn't challenged to become a better player if she's going to win anyway, so Ravenna keeps her weak; secondly, it provides Freya with a false sense of security that her sister loves her because she lets her win and Ravenna would never do anything to harm her sister, like the horrible things Ravenna does to kings. Now, please notice the image above. When Ravenna holds her sister after Freya faints from seeing the baby's death, Ravenna appears to be comforting Freya,... is she? Please note the wool wrap Ravenna wears in this image: the wool is a natural substance, whereas all of Ravenna's clothes and hair look very unnatural for a woman; just so, the naturalness of this wool looks unnatural on Ravenna, just as Ravenna being concerned for Freya's health and welfare is unnatural to Ravenna's true nature. 
She is a potentially good person who makes a bad decision,... a really bad decision, and we, the viewer, are in a position to make an equally bad decision. When we see the young man Freya was in love with, caught after setting the baby's crib on fire, he says, "I had no choice," and we think it's because he was all ready engaged and he couldn't break the engagement because of being a noble and his family; later, in the film however, we learn that it was Ravenna who cast a spell on him to kill the child, and when he tells Freya, "I had no choice," it's because he was under Ravenna's control (the control of socialism to kill the baby, because that is what socialism does). So, why is the baby so important?
One of the ways to tell a good film is when there is a character or scene that acts as a macro-scene for the entire narrative: in other words, the scene is the "other words" of the story, the to-the-point articulation, the "draw-me-a-picture-so-I-can-understand better"instance. This scene above, with the goblin, is exactly that. We learn that the mirror shows the potential of everything, not what is, but what the potential of something/someone is, and so, that mirror is the film itself, showing us the potential of Ravenna and Freya in our world. The mirror causes everyone to kill each other, and what happens in the film? Ravenna and Freya kill one another (Freya through letting Eric and Sara kill Ravenna instead of uniting against Eric and Sara with her sister). The goblins we see above are a metaphor for both Ravenna and Freya because they both crave power and wealth (Ravenna wants the wealth of gold, Freya wants the wealth that comes with control [of the emotions and over people's emotions]). The goblin jumps around like an ape (which we will probably see in the upcoming Tarzan film); why does it jump around like an ape? Because Ravenna has no regard for human life, look at how effortless is was for her to kill her sister's baby, her own niece? Freya tries to destroy the most human of all emotions: love. Each sister contributes to the dehumanization of humanity, and so it's their own humanity which ends up being destroyed.
Children symbolize the future. Ravenna can't have children, so she views those who do have children as being weak for being devoted to their children instead of power over the multitudes. Now, what is it the mirror does throughout the film? It causes people to kill each other. This is always what happens in socialism: all socialist/communist leaders start killing their own people and the people want to kill them. Why? The mirror shows potential, it doesn't show reality (socialists hate reality because they can't bend it to their will and make it be what they want it to be). Ravenna wants a kingdom where she holds all power; she can't be. Freya wants a kingdom where there is loyalty, but no love: she can't. Loyalty is based on love, and love must be loyal, or it isn't love. So, why is it that Freya's love doesn't work out for her? 
The baby is exceedingly important in the film because this is the last image Freya sees before she dies. Why? The mirror says it is the potential of what might be, but so is the baby, for babies symbolize hope and the future. Freya sees this image of her last because, in her last moment, she realizes she has been wrong, and she could have made other decisions. She could not have saved her child, but she could have saved the love she had for her daughter, rather than destroy that love within her, too, instead of just the baby being destroyed. 
Freya has to know that her sister is a serial king-killer (Freya smiled at her lover during the king's funeral, after all, not even bothering to feign mourning). Freya did nothing to stop her sister from killing the king, or other kings, and so, we can say, that since Freya allowed her sister to be a killing machine, it was just and fair that her daughter and lover would die at the instigation of Ravenna whom Freya did nothing to stop. This is a typical pattern in socialist/communist governments: the very machine from which they benefit also destroys them (see the caption beneath the goblin above). What about Freya's own kingdom?
Why, when Freya first sees the dwarfs, does she compare them to children? This is another instance of socialism. No adult (in their right mind, unless they have a lot to gain from it) accepts socialism; children, however, can be taught; even then, however, they grow up knowing there has to be something better. Take, for example, Katniss and Gale in The Hunger Games: they have lived their lives behind fences and would like to run for it but know they would be tracked down. The other Huntsman who came in with Sara and Eric don't want to be there, but they haven't any choice. When Freya sees the dwarfs, she mistakenly thinks she can indoctrinate them the way she has all the other children. When the dwarf Mrs. Bromwyn calls Freya, "Bitch queen," it settles that the dwarfs all ready have minds of their own and Freya won't be able to turn them to her bidding the way she turns all into ice. 
Freya believes that she is saving the children from the pain and suffering of life; doesn't every socialist advocate that there shouldn't be any suffering? She claims to save them from the suffering that love causes, so they aren't allowed to love. To be human, however, is to love, and to love is to be human. Herein lies a clue: Freya had an adulterous relationship with her lover and beget a child, a child she loved dearly; in spite of the suffering her lover caused her, she still had the child she could have loved and found happiness. Freya could have moved on and had another relationship--a legitimate one, this time--and started another family, but no, that is not the path she choose: if she had to suffer, she was going to make sure others suffered with her, and isn't that a recurring theme we see with socialist figures? Think about Spectre's Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) and how he takes his suffering at not being loved as a child out on the entire world; or the King Set (Gerard Butler) in Gods Of Egypt because he was given the desert to rule, so he's going to enslave all of humanity. We can, however, say that Freya finds redemption at the end.
Why does Doreena and Nion act so silly about getting thirsty? "Sometimes I get thirsty after I've eaten something salty," well, like who doesn't? The point of this silliness is, that's what everyone wants. That's what love is and does: it makes the most common of drudgeries (like getting thirsty) seem fated, important and filled with beauty where there was none before. This is why we all want and need love. Because Freya's love "died" she doesn't want anyone else to have what she feels she lost. When Freya is ready to take the mirror, Doreena tells her, "You'll have to kill me first," and Nion tries to protect her but they are both turned to ice; why? Freya can all ready tell the two of them are in love, and she can't bear the power of their love, so she has to destroy it in the only way she knows how: ice. 
When Freya and Ravenna fight each other, Freya knows fear, and that fear makes her prioritize what is important to her and therefore, what she loves, and she loves "her children," those she cares for. She uses the same means of protecting them from Ravenna that she did to drive Sara and Eric apart: the ice wall (we could also call this the Berlin Wall). The importance of Freya using the ice wall to protect her children from Ravenna is that, now, in this moment, Freya realizes that what was a weapon (the ice wall against Sara and Eric) is now a means of strength and power (to protect the Huntsman); in other words, the suffering Freya experienced when her child died and her lover was frozen to death, could have brought about something better and more positive in Freya,... but she didn't give it a chance. 
In conclusion, this was an excellent film that provides audiences with two potent symbols of what socialism is and does: gold and ice. While it freezes everything for the people who slave away to keep the system going, it feeds on gold for its own satisfaction, leaving nothing else for anyone. None of us like, or want, to suffer, but we take the hard-knocks we experience in life and turn our pain into wisdom. That is why wisdom is considered to be a treasure greater than gold: no one can take it from you. 
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
Why go back to a fairy tale? Why on earth, with all the special effects and technology we have, should we care about what happens in a fairy tale? There are two reasons why fairy tales are revisited today: first, socialists know the fairy tale was a warning about them (or behavior socialists advocate, like promiscuity) or, two, capitalists want to tell everyone, "See, we told you so," and remind people what the original fairy tales taught us and why. The Huntsman Winter's War is an excellent example of the later.