Silence and Beauty and the Beast | Film Review

“Mountains and rivers can be moved but men’s nature cannot be moved”.

Directed by Martin Scorsese
Written by Martin Scorsese and Jay Cocks
Music by Kim Allen Kluge and Kathryn Kluge
Cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Tadanobu Asano, Ciarán Hinds, Liam Neeson.
Year: 2016

This is a story that is portrayed as that of Jesuit priests in Japan, and their “journey” from God fearing men to non-believers, but a closer look at the tale reveals the most interesting themes, that of the disfranchised Japanese, colonialism, and the finding of true faith in compassion, all of which are blatantly ignored by the two “main characters”, Sebastião Rodrigues and  Father Cristóvão Ferreira, in their quest for Christian dominance over Buddhist Japan. This however, does not leave space to excuse the harsh treatment and torture of Christians and suspected Christians, most of which were Japanese, by the Tokugawa shogunate, and the deafening silence that follows their prayers. 

I worry, they value these poor signs of faith more than faith itself. But how can we deny them?

The film, aside from fantastic performances and a wonderful script (mostly true to the original book), also has great music and beautiful cinematography. Yes, I know you  must be tired of me rambling about the cinematography in almost every review, but without it, the movie would look like a bunch of useless images all paired together to make the film rather than a blend of scenery and expressions that add to the story in silence. Almost every scene carries a meaning much similar to the words spoken, but that affect us more than the script provides. Men being crucified like Jesus but under water is much more poignant than a simple reference to it, as are almost every scene in which the priests are forced to look at the effects of their pride and wants. Truly masterful! 

 “Those five in the pit are suffering too, just like Jesus, but they don’t have your pride. They would never compare themselves to Jesus. Do you have the right to make them suffer? I heard the cries of suffering in this same cell. And I acted.

I am quite disappointed the movie was so underrated by general audiences, in a time like now,  with the rise of  white supremacy, religious fundamentalism, and the view of imperialism as the solution to world issues, our legacy must be questioned. This movie might just make us do it. 



Beauty and the Beast
Directed by Bill Condon 
Written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos Based on the Disney animated film and fairytales.
Music by Alan Menken
Cinematography by Tobias Schliessler
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson.
Year: 2017

This review will have spoilers, but if at this point in time, you’ve yet to see the Disney film, I can’t help you, go watch it and avoid this movie, as the couple things that are different from the original, are pointless, useless, lack originality, and create more questions than answers.

This movie is an almost scene per scene recreation of the far superior Disney one, however, they added a lot of scenes and songs that were lacking in almost everything, and left me with a desire to see the original one even more, so I guess something good did come out of this experience. 

Here is a list of all the things I did not like:
-LeFou was, all the way until the end, a flamboyant character, which seemed more like a mockery of him rather than an inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community.
-How Belle is treated after a makeshift washing machine and teaching a girl to read.
– The background added to the prince about his mother and father that lasted around a minute and added nothing to the story, when the theory of his age would’ve made more sense.
-Belle’s father imprisonment and how Belle ends in his place, much better done in the animated film.
– The addition of Belle’s dad being left to die by Gaston and LeFou and then found by the witch that caused everything in the first place.
Who is Belle’s mother theory is not explained, but rather we are shown her death as the Beast takes Belle back into the past through a book, instead of indulging the viewers
, when her background could’ve explained Belle and her fathers background much better.
-Many songs were taken out in order to add new ones, which were not nearly as good as the original ones.
– The scene where Beast takes Belle into the past is useless
-New characters that served as a comic relief for 3 seconds.
-Emma Watson is better actress than this, in fact, most actors in this are better than this.
-Not everyone in this movie sings well, the auto-tune was outrageous.
– The secondary characters were annoying.
-The “death scene” for the Beast was anticlimactic.
-So was Gaston’s death.
-The food scene, I didn’t live it in the original and I dislike it in this one.
-The library in the live-action was way smaller than the animated one. 

Here’s a list of what I liked:
-All the diverse characters that were added, some of which I recognized.
-This Gaston was awesome, just as good as the original one.
– When the wardrobe shoots clothes at three townsmen and they end up in dresses, and calls them “pretty boys” and one of them definitely is.
-when LeFou and “pretty boy are dancing together for like 5 seconds.
-The Beast’s new song, however, not all of it.
-Every time a petal of the rose falls, the castle crumbles a bit more, makes sense. 

I’ve heard many people loved it, including almost every single one of my friends I went to the theater to see this with. But the animated one remains my favourite, and I will never change it for this one, even the dress was prettier when it was animated. 



2 thoughts on “Silence and Beauty and the Beast | Film Review

  1. Great review, as usual! I completely get your points about all the negatives, and for the most part I agree–I guess for some reason I just didn’t mind them quite as much, but that very well may have been just due to the fact that I was sort of blinded by the original, and just had a fantastic experience in general seeing it (I was excited, I had a good seat, people in the theater were excited, etc.). I particularly agree about Gaston’s death and Belle’s treatment by the villagers, though! Those two things did take me out of the movie, as I just remember Gaston’s death being so memorable in the original and extremely bland here, and the village scenes are possibly my favorite scenes in the original (besides Be Our Guest/Tale as Old as Time) and it just didn’t live up to it for me.

    I definitely want to see it again, though, especially to see if the negatives affect me more the second time or not.


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