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Echoes of God fill Hollywood fairy tale

They’re classic stories, classic “types” – a benevolent king sends his son to redeem a fallen world; a man gives his life to save his companions; the blood of the pure overcomes the sorcery of the wicked; the power of love breaks the spell, and so on.

From fairy tales to Hollywood films to the Bible itself, these common themes creep into our best stories again and again and again.

Is this mere coincidence? A dearth of human creativity, that we keep repeating the same tales? An imprinted collective narrative left over from our tribal past? Or, as Mel Gibson famously asked Joaquin Phoenix, are you the kind who sees “signs” of something greater?

It’s not a fanciful or rhetorical question. It’s earnest. Because how you answer at a heart level will dramatically affect how you react to this movie review and, indeed, how you will react to the new film “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

For if you believe these themes are just the leftover imprint of humanity past, you’ll scoff at my review, be dissatisfied with “Snow White,” miss out on the power of Scripture and ultimately be blinded to its beauty.

But if you can believe instead that mankind was made in the image of a timeless God who has written the story of His love and redemption of fallen humanity not only upon our hearts, but also upon all creation (Romans 8:19-22) … then suddenly you can begin to see: These stories are not just the disjointed leftovers from the human refrigerator, but the threads of a grand narrative woven together in a tapestry, a siren call to taste and see the handiwork of God in all the greatest stories ever told, for there is only one story, one history, and that’s His story.

See what you have to ask yourself, Merrill, is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that hears whispers of Christ in a sacrificial death, that feels echoes of the Spirit in a faithful friend, that scents a trace of Scripture in a king who serves his subjects? Or do believe that stories … are just stories?

For on one level, “Snow White and the Huntsman” is just a story – a dark fairy tale filled with magically misty scenes that are both frightening and wonderful.

It’s just a movie, filled with too many underdeveloped characters and a heroine who can’t carry the tale.

It’s just a film, one that needed more moments of comic relief to break the dreary mood and a more cohesive storyline to become the epic it tries – and fails – to be.

It’s just a date at the theater, in which most audiences will walk away with a profound sense of “meh,” a movie night that was interesting but ultimately unsatisfying, as the film rarely rises above average.

But if you’re in “group No. 1,” as Graham said in “Signs,” if you hear something more in the fairy tales that we tell again and again through the ages, then you might just enjoy the taste of a higher Truth that wafts through the script of “Snow White and the Huntsman”:

And then, there’s the movie’s haunting words, referring to the curse that turned the queen evil and the promise of evil’s demise, “By blood done, by fairest blood undone.”

Do you hear and appreciate the parallels at all? Will you chew upon the metaphors and see them as themes that break though even the darkest of fairy tales like beams of light on an overcast day?

Or … maybe it is just a movie. Entertainment and art are just for amusement, right? “Just a movie,” they say.

And “Imagine” was just a song, “Les Miserables” just a musical, “1984” just a year, “The Chronicles of Narnia” just a bedtime story, and the Bible just a book.

Or maybe, just maybe …

Content advisory: