Wednesday, 29 October 2014

La belle et la bète (beauty and the beast) review

La belle et la bète (beauty and the beast) review (1946)

A tale of love brought to life.

The story starts off with Belle's (Bell) father going off on a trip only to find a mysterious castle, there stands a beast in human clothing that appears and states that the father will be killed unless if he hands over one of his daughters instead. The father travels back home telling the story to his family, which made Belle to abandon the house and travel back to the castle only to be greeted in a high-class manor. After a few days dining with the beast she begs him that she could leave and he agrees but she must come back within a week. She disappears back to her home and bonds with her family yet again only to explain that the beast is kind and gentle. The family did trust her and over heard her talking the golden key that unlocks the secret room. She returns only to find out that her human lover, Adelaide, infiltrates a secret room only to die and transformed into a beast where the original beast transformed back into a prince. Belle and the prince float away living happily ever after. 
It's hard to say the good and bad points about the original "beauty and the beast" without talking about Disney's "beauty and the beast". So I'll cut to the chase Disney's version is a far better adaptation, with bright colours, charming songs and voice over and the beast made more like an actual monster and not a guy in a furry costume.  
I enjoy the silliness, which sadly back in the day it was meant to be taken seriously, which is probably bad as the film itself didn't want to turn out that way. The visuals and settings are a delight to enjoy by having the statues move as they are played by actors and it also gives off the feeling of illusion. The lighting of the candles gives this mysterious castle the shine and style that it obviously wanted and the actors that plays as statues gives a brilliant performance by not saying any dialog but instead act like mimes where they act though body movement or shifty eyes.

The bad points is that the subtitles don't always show up on screen so it feels like you are missing important parts of the film, the main issue in the film is the beast character, he always seems to call upon a specific time yet hardly follows though them himself. For example during the film he  announced that he would kill Belle's father in 15 minutes... also he talks about dining with Belle at 7 o'clock and rarely shows up on time. Even seven days for Belle to see her family? Why not less? Why is he being specific? it actually become really noticeable and hard to avoid no matter how much the film is enjoyable.  

Overall this movie gets 6/10. Back in the day it could have been taken seriously however it's so over the top with it's acting that it probably won't show off this fear that the Beast character is meant to have. The story is all over the place and continuously tells us it's not a romantic film yet has romantic scenes. Suddenly Belle likes him and then doesn't and wants to be friends and later when the Beast is revealed to be a prince she states she'll love him in time, which isn't a problem in films but give the guy a bone here! he has tried and done so much for Belle the romance doesn't work and it's all one side despite the beast having many abilities.

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