Academic Master

English

Beauty and The Beast Movie Analysis

The Beauty and the Beast is a film that describes the story of Robby Benson (an arrogant young prince) whose castle was put under a spell by an underhanded sorcerer. The sorcerer transforms the sovereign into a terrible Beast, a shape that must be changed when he figures out how to love and to be cherished in kind. Belle, a spirited young village, comes to the castle to rescue her father, who was kidnapped by the beast. Belle, with the help of the enchanted servants, starts to draw the cold-hearted Beast out of the isolation. The paper analyses the use of imagery and fairy tale motifs as well as their symbolic representation in the movie Beauty and the Beast.

The wicked enchantress enchants a rose and puts it in a glass under the Beast’s castle. The rose acts as a time clock for his cure. The rose has been enchanted to bloom till his 21st year, during which he needs to locate a pleasant young lady and demonstrate to her that he isn’t a giant twitch, or else he will stall out in the pseudo-werewolf frame until the end of time. Roses have been used to symbolize various meanings, such as love, as used in the movie. In the film, the rose is wilting, and this tradition represents a fairy tale where the beauty is leaving the beast. This leaves the audience in suspense, wondering whether the love between the two will last. However, in this instance, the rose represents the chances of life rather than the traditional meaning of the love shared by the couple.

Roses can also symbolize a fairy tale involving death, such as the enchanted rose in Beauty and the Beast, which is wilting. Similarly, there are thorns under the leaves of roses that can prick whenever a person gets close or passes too close to them. It shows the passing of worthwhile things in life. In the film, the Beast feels that he is like a rose that pricks or sticks everything that comes too close to him. Therefore, he thinks that it is okay to be dead if he can’t break the curse. The scene where the Beast is about to be slaughtered by Gaston before Belle arrives shows how remorseless he is about death.

The rose signifies and tells the tale of the mystery of slowly opening up to beauty only after taking time to know someone. Traditionally, in such cases, the rose represented a story of romance, however, for this situation the rose had just sprouted and begun to shrink. Concerning Belle, this rose symbolizes a puzzle that is unique in the sense that she has been wondering about the Beast and the result of this phenomenon (Taussig, 2012, pg.7). When she spots the rose in the Beast’s prohibited room, she gets a sense of fulfillment. Despite how quickly the mystery gets answered, the symbolic representation of the rose does not change for her.

Another interesting idea in this film is the use of transformations to rouse the emotions of the audience. According to De Beaumont (2017), “the movie depicts how the inner selves of the characters are hidden beneath the surface impression.” For example, Gaston is seen to be a beloved character because of his handsomeness, but his inner self is very nasty. Also, the servants, who were once humans, have their inner selves hidden beneath the shape of household items, and the handsomeness of the Beast is hidden beneath the ugly land-cow-like creature. However, the transformation of the servants gives clues about their real selves. Candelabra is glowing and friendly, hence justifying the name Lumiere, while Mrs Pott’s character is conforming and warm, consequently turning into a cup of tea. These transformations were probably used to make the audience understand that it is imperative to understand the soul of a person that lies beyond the superficial self. The curse helped reinforce and openly put the souls of the residents, suggesting that the ‘normal’ world is more corrupt than seen.

However, Belle’s character is seen as the antidote to all the transformations of the Beasts and the residents of the castle. Belle is depicted as the only character whose both inner and outer self are not different. She is beautiful both inside and outside. She further brings harmony into the castle, and she presents the Beast, as well as the rest of the castle, with a chance to become more like her. The transformation, thus, will last as long as the Beast and other residents of the castle will learn the teachings of Belle. Once they have learned Belle’s teachings, the curse will be undone, returning the Beasts and the castle’s staff to normal forms but a little wiser.

The “I Want” song became popular in the 1930s and 1940s with Broadway production. The song is usually sung by the main character, who is singing about his or her desires to set up the story. It aims to give the audience a way into the character’s mindset and set things into motion by telling us vital things regarding the character. “This song fills us into main characters of Beauty and the Beast including Belle and Gaston” (Barchilon, 1959, pg.19). Belle is an outsider in the little town while Gaston is a beloved town bully who has made his intentions to Belle clear. During this five-minute song, the audience is introduced to these two and everything the audience needs to know about the character, as well as how the two fit in this movie.

Works Cited

Barchilon, Jacques. “Beauty and the Beast.” Psychoanalytic Review 46.4 (1959): 19.

De Beaumont, Marie Le Prince. Beauty and the Beast. Sheba Blake Publishing, 2017.

Taussig, Michael. Beauty and the Beast. University of Chicago Press, 2012.

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