Friday, 22 October 2010

Film Review: La Belle Et La Bete Directed by Jean Cocteau 1946

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La belle et la bete (Beauty and the Beast) is based on a french fairytale of the same name.

I enjoyed watching the film with its fairytale like appearance, all dry ice and elegance. Dennis Grunes’ review at FilmsdeFrance.com says “The most striking thing about this film is the visual imagery.  The ghostly scenes in the beast’s gothic castle are some of the most impressive and memorable to have been recorded on film. “ a sentiment I agree with, the way everything is shot makes the film a fairytale come alive and definitely memorable.

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I think that the beginning dragged on a bit, it seemed a little slow to start and for anything to develop but once it got underway it was truly brilliant, the actors Jean Marais and Josette Day performing spectacularly. Derek Malcom at The Guardian says that it may not be Cocteau's perfect film “But it is probably his most perfect, because it speaks to so wide an audience with its intensity of vision and the emotions that it inspires in us. Watch Beauty looking into a mirror and seeing her face replaced by that of the Beast … you see a precisely imagined fantasy” but the fantasy is only so real because of the actor’s engagement and the very well done stylised shooting

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Again I have to agree with Grunes’ view on how the film makes the audience feel like a child once more, capable of believing the innocent world of fairytale “This is a rare film which is capable of reviving the child in each one of us – a remarkable experience, a remarkable achievement” which indeed it is, there are very few films that can captivate the mind like La Belle Et La Bete

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