La Belle et la Bete directed by Jean Cocteau in 1946 tells the a classic tale of beauty and the beast. The story is about a beast (a prince who has be turned into a monster) who has captured a young women Belle in his castle because the Belle’s father picked a white rose from the monsters castle the punishment was death for picking the rose and Belle’s father had the choice to send one of his three daughters to take his place. As Belle asked for the rose she felt guilty and went to the beast at his castle.
After the beast meets Belle he starts to fall in love with her. This is obviously stated by the way the beast treats her and how he only wants to please her. The beast gives Belle all the jewellery she would ever need, and treats her as Queen and respects her wishes. This shows that the Beast only wanted to show affection and kindness towards Belle and portrayed his felling towards her and that he still has very caring compassionate human emotions.
But at this point Belle is still upset that she cannot see her father. She shuns the beast away each time he tries to show affection, by bringing her gifts and admiring her. The beast sees her pain and although he doesn’t let her go see her father at the beginning but, as Belle starts to develop feelings for him he lets her go and saying that he would die of grief if she should not return. This seems rather evil emotional blackmail through the eyes of modern culture, but back in the 40’s this would have portrayed as romantic.
Although the beast acts very Chivalrous around Belle, he deeply tries to suppress his animal instincts. Throughout the film we seem him act kind and generous, more so than other human beings and displaying deep emotions. As they walk through the garden the beast sees a deer running through the trees and he wants to chase after it. Then we are reminded that the beast still has a firm grasp over him.
Although this film isn't shot in colour and doesn't have amazing special effects it still is a very engaging film. There is a great balance of tone in the film, with clothing and scenery which captures the viewer’s imagination.