Beauty and the Beast

Something that I found particularly interesting in La Belle et la Bête was the varying change of point of view throughout. At first, the viewers are led to believe that the beast is a horrible monster that means only harm (although the protection of the roses is a little curious and contrasting). This view, from Belle’s father, is maintained throughout the film. Following this viewpoint, Belle is also terrified until she is led to believe otherwise and is able to see the Beast’s sweet nature and personal inner conflict.

These two viewpoints come together in the scene where Belle is by her father’s bedside and she starts to vocalize her fondness of the Beast. Her father is clearly disapproving, considering the only prior knowledge that he has of the beast. As viewers, it’s hard not to root for the Beast because we have been able to see his true character when the father could not. This shows a restricted narrative range because we know different points of view, but we don’t know any more than any of the characters do.

To me, this film mainly had a subjective depth. The music and the atmosphere of the scenes lead our feelings and opinions about the particular moment in the direction that it’s supposed to. If it was completely up to our interpretation and were without all the emotional context clues, we would probably think the same thing about the Beast that Belle’s father does.

My favorite part about these varying viewpoints was obviously the end when they all collide and the real fairytale message is sent home to the viewers. With Belle’s materialistic, jealous, and greedy siblings (along with her wannabe-lover) in hot pursuit of ruining Belle’s happiness and stealing the Beast’s riches, fairytale karma is served. A new Beast is reincarnated and the sisters see their “true selves” in the mysteriously blunt and truthful mirror and the Beast is at last transformed to be Belle’s perfect prince charming. What’s interesting to me about this collection of character fate is that everything that we knew was true from Belle’s viewpoint is finally brought to attention.

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2 thoughts on “Beauty and the Beast

  1. I’m surprised you found the film’s viewpoint to be subjective; You’re about the only one I have read so far that feels that way. I did not exactly put the musical and visual cues together to the point that they were leading our expectations. Your suggestion does have merit, and if so, would be easily the most impressive part of the movie.

    I found the ending of the movie to be more bothersome than favourite. Belle admits to the Prince version of Avenant that she loves them both; the former Beast, and the original Avenant. Avenant, whilst obsessed with Belle, seemed to truly love her, or at least enough that Belle loved him back. If he’s worthy of the same love that the Beast receives, then he can’t be that horrible, can he? Personally, I would not say he deserves so poor a fate. And then there’s the matter of the face-stealing, which is simply disconcerting.

  2. This film does contrast and shows multiple points of views from all the characters involved. It was hard for me to naturally let the story unfold due to my previous knowledge of the main points of the plot and its expected ending.

    The movie goes back and forward with how the beast is perceived and as you mentioned the most impacting being when Belle confesses her feelings for the Beast. I wouldn’t say the end was my favorite but I couldn’t really think of how else they would have ended it. We know the beast isn’t going to die, they will end up together, however the switching of faces between Avenant and the Beast was a bit bewildering.

    Overall, the film had an easy to follow flow with a few minor things left unexplained which as I mentioned in my blog post, I believe are good.

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