Week 4 Blog Assignment

Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête undoubtedly is classified as a fairytale. Analogous to most works of the same genre, La Belle et la Bête is a narrative. Events occur, the characters react to them, something results from their reaction, and the cycle continues until the resolution of the story. It follows a very distinct pattern of cause and effect. For instance, because Belle became accepting of the Beast’s external repulsiveness and saw him for his inner beauty, he would be freed from the curse cast upon him. On a similar note, due to Adélaïde’s scoundrel like persona, he was shot by an arrow and given a deserving punishment. Most of these events follow what is known as causal motivation. This suggests that information is placed before a scene actually takes place. Sometimes we are able to infer the cause without it being directly given to the viewer. We knew that at some point the Beast and Belle would live happily together and that Adélaïde did not have anything good coming for him. The story time in this film was a little easier to follow than most films simply because every night Belle would sit to dine at precisely 7 pm. This allowed me, as a spectator, to know when a day would pass. Being aware of time is somewhat crucial because without this knowledge one may not realize how long Belle is being kept in the castle for. The range of this film should be considered unrestricted. The audience certainly knew more than the characters were aware of- if necessary. Similarly, the camera acted as an omniscient narrator, going around the castle and such. The film possesses a subjective depth in terms of narration because we see and hear things identical to how they are seen by the characters themselves. It is customary for Cocteau to use stories told cross-culturally which is why La Belle et la Bête comes as no surprise. This movie follows a very common story line of an ugly individual wanting to be with the most gorgeous women or man, the hideousness is overcome, they are accepted for what’s on the inside and the two live happily ever after.

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One thought on “Week 4 Blog Assignment

  1. I agree that a lot of the Beauty and the Beast is narrative. The causes and effects that you mentioned – Belle falling in love with the Beast and Adelaide turning into a beast – could also tie into good versus evil messages. Those who do good deeds, receive good, those who are evil have evil things happen to them. I have to disagree that story time was easy to follow. Yes, Belle ate dinner every night at 7 but as far as days and weeks, there was no inclination of how much time had passed. For the story, it was not really necessary to know how long Belle had been living with the beast because the audience only needed to know that it was long enough for her to realize that he has a good heart. I agree with your comments on the range of this film. I believe most fairy-tales are unrestricted which is what makes them easily adapted for children.

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