Cocteau’s rendition of La Belle et La Bete utilizes certain aspects of narrative including perspective and range and depth of narration in order to relay his own iteration of the classic fairy tale.
And as the story is heavily based on the fairy tale, the audience is already given a set of expectations to be seen throughout the film. For instance, we can no doubt expect Beauty to be with Beast at the end.
Also noted is the various camera angles we viewpoint we see through in order to paint the tale. At first it seemed that the story was gonna be majority in Belle’s POV, a restricted view. However, the scene we will see will often shift between characters, leading to a more unrestricted range of camera shots, especially seen through Beast’s usage of the mirror in order to find Belle’s whereabouts. There are also several points where a POV shot is used through several characters eyes. Due to viewers not being able to know the thoughts of characters unless spoken, the narration is in an objective depth.
We can also see clear causal motivation in the beginning in the form of Avenant obsessive love for Belle, which will lead to future conflict. However, the plot could not be constructed without a beginning, as seen where the Father is at Beast’s castle and makes a deal with him. It is because of this, everything in the movie now begin to move forward into what it is.
There is no specified sense of time or space within the story. We know that the span of the movie was at least one week, as Belle left the castle to go home in that time. But other than that, there is nothing else we can go along with to assess how long the story takes place. Same with the space, as it is not specified where it is or the distances traveled by characters.
The extra-diagetic opening and music provide a subtle charm and sense of mood that matches with the story and scenes, provoking certain feelings that mesh well with what is onscreen.
The film had unique use and placement of plastics(or maybe simply non talking characters) and narrative that create Cocteau’s own version of the story that ends with the audience’s fulfilled expectations.