In the tale, Belle's father spends the night in the castle to rest and leaves in the morning, whereas he leaves immediately after having dinner in this movie. Furthermore, he begs the Beast for forgiveness after taking the rose and promises to come back in the original story. Here, he defies the Beast, forcing it to threaten his family. See more »
[the Beast Catches The Merchant Taking a Rose]
My gifts were not enough for you? Do you also have to steal what I treasure most?
I won't be treated as a thief or a coward. I am a just and honorable man!
Who did you pick this rose for?
My youngest daughter. She is worth more than anything in the world, to me.
Then I will give you one day to say goodbye to your loved ones. You only need to whisper the words: "More than anything in the world," to your horse, and he will bring you here.
I will not ...
[...] See more »
The film title and part of the closing credits appear within a fairytale book. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. If you are looking for dancing tea cups or singing candelabras, you've come to the wrong movie. If you are looking for the Gothic approach to the dark psychological analysis of the original story again, you've come to the wrong movie. Director Christophe Gans (Silent Hill, 2006) offers up a version that is neither animated Disney (1991) nor Jean Cocteau (1946), though his film does have a visual flair that will likely keep audiences (it's not for very young kids) engaged throughout.
The familiar story was first written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villenueve in 1740, however, it's the revised version from Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1756 that provides the fairy tale/fable that has been filmed so many times since. The story's genealogy based in France instills a bit more hope and responsibility in a project starring Vincent Cassel, Lea Seydoux and Andre Dussolier, and directed by the Frenchman Gans.
Ms. Seydoux is an admirable Belle, and her grace and beauty make for quite the contrast to her needy and entitled sisters. Her time in the castle with the Beast is limited, and therein is the film's biggest weakness. We never really see the transformation of the Beast to a man who repents, turns over a new leaf, and is worthy of love it all just kind of happens thanks to the beautiful dresses. Mr. Gans and Sandra Vo-Anh co-wrote the script, and this misstep deflates the core of the story. We are on our own to interpret the messages of class warfare, greed, and judging others by looks. The focus instead is on the visual presentation, which at times is spectacular.
The set design and costumes are especially impressive and elaborate, and though the look of the Beast may not be precisely to your imagination, the film isn't shy about putting him front and center with the camera. Vincent Cassel's time as the Prince is pretty well done, and the CGI and explanation of the gold doe, nymph of the forest, magic healing water, pack of beagles and the curse are enough to move the story along even if some details are lacking.
A bedtime story being read to two young kids is the framing device and might explain why the fantasy world is emphasized over the dark psychological undertones (more prevalent in the Cocteau version). While some might view the ending as somewhat mawkish, it's really nice to see happily-ever-after is not twisted into some contemporary take on independence.
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