Some Stones Unturned

Knitting, Biking and Some Sober Second Thoughts

Addendum to previous Snow White post

I previously outlined some thoughts on a Snow White movie where Snow White learned to reject her passive instincts and set out to defeat the Queen and tear down the social constructions that make beauty so valuable. And thinking about the plot I outlined, I realized it was actually very similar to another movie I had never connected with Snow White before: Kill Bill. Now wait wait, stay with me here for a second and consider the characters and basic plot points of that movie versus the one I outlined.

O-Ren is the evil Queen. Like the Queen in the movie, she loses her parents in a horrific incident at a young age and has to do terrible things to survive. On the surface, O-Ren appears to have a great deal of power and independence, heading up a large corporation, chopping off the heads of men who dare to question her and with her own bodyguard army. But actually O-Ren works for Bill and is part of a corrupt system. Probably you could make arguments for some of the other women as “the Queen” character. They all work for Bill and support the existing system, especially Elle Driver in the first movie, who is very much set up to be in competition with Beatrix Kiddo, fighting for Bill’s attention and approval. But Lucy Liu has more screen time in the first movie, so let’s go with her for the moment.

Beatrix Kiddo is the Snow White character. She used to be part of Bill’s team, was the star of it in fact and benefited hugely from it. But then something happened. Not a poisoned comb or a huntsman being sent after her. Beatrix got pregnant and was forced to start thinking about the world she lived in and the sort of world she wanted her daughter to grow up in. She realizes her current situation where Bill gives the orders and she has to kill people for a living is terrible and she decides to leave that life behind. Snow White is too pure of heart to lead an assassin’s life, but she has also been accepting of a system that valued her for weird and messed up reasons.

At first Beatrix tries to sneak out quietly, avoid conflict, the same way Snow White runs to the dwarves. But of course Bill can’t let her leave. He and the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad try to kill her (again, no poisoned apples in sight, but that’s the parallel) and very nearly succeed, so that Beatrix is lying in a hospital bed, which is the equivalent of Snow White’s coffin. She comes to and realizes passive attempts to ignore the evil she was formerly a part of will not give her the life she wanted for her daughter and she comes to the same conclusion Snow White would come to in my version of the movie: she has to tear the whole freaking system down.

This doesn’t just mean killing Bill (who is that movie’s equivalent of the mirror), although that is the final objective. It means getting rid of everyone, like O-Ren, who supported the move to kill her when she was just trying to get out of the way. So she makes a plan and commits to doing whatever is necessary to see it through.

I wouldn’t make this part of the Snow White story as bloody or vengeance-focused as Kill Bill, but it’s strange how well things correlate now that I think about it. This is why you shouldn’t think too much about things: your brain starts to do weird things.

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