I saw Beauty and the Beast with my family. There were 13 of us that went to the theater ranging in age from 2 to 88. You probably have heard of the “gay moment” in the film, and I will address that moment at the end of the review.
I have broken down Beauty and the Beast in categories. 1) Possible Scary or Intense Moments for Children, and Potential Objectionable Content 2) Movie-making quality 3) What Can We Learn From the Characters in Beauty and the Beast? And Finally 4) The “gay moment” in the film.
1. POTENTIALLY SCARY MOMENTS AND OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT:
There are several intense scenes. There are a few scenes with wolves where the wolves chase Maurice and Belle and attack the Beast. In one loud scene lightening strikes a tree and the tree falls to the ground. The Beast can be very scary looking when he is jumping, leaping and growling which he does in several scenes. The death of Belle’s mom is addressed in the film, however, you don’t actually see it on film. The scene with Gaston and the Beast fighting is pretty intense and lasts several minutes. My overall suggestion is the movie is suitable for 6 and up. My 2 year old granddaughter did see the movie with us, but she left the theater for the scene with the wolves and the Beast fighting.
Other Potential Objectionable Content:
In the final battle scene, three men attack the wardrobe, and she dresses them in women’s clothing, makeup and powdered wigs. Two of the men go running off and the third man smiles at the camera looking pleased. Remember that at this time men did wear powdered wigs and makeup.
Le Fou lifts his shirt to show a bite on his stomach from wrestling.
The beast makes a couple of statements – “I could have been damned forever” and “I received eternal damnation.”
2. MOVIE MAKING QUALITY:
I saw an 8 minute preview a month ago and had very high expectations. Overall the movie is stunning. However, there were a couple scenes I was disappointed in. I personally did not like Mrs. Potts, and I also was disappointed with the Be Our Guest scene. I loved this scene in the animated version, but felt it was “smoke and mirrors” in this version to make up the for the lack in voice quality. I felt it “lacked a certain je ne sais quois.” I challenge you to listen to both the animated version and the new live action version and let me know what you think.
3. WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE CHARACTERS IN BEAUTY AND THE BEAST? WHICH CHARACTER ARE YOU?
There is so much sin in this movie – and there is so much sin in the world. There is sin in my house. There is sin in my heart. This movie is a visual illustration of what happens to our hearts when we allow sin to creep in. The Prince was transformed into a hideous beast because of what his heart looked like. The question I ask myself is: How can I be a more beautiful person? I believe we change the world one person at a time. I try to show the love of Jesus to people everywhere I go, but I fail miserably. The world listens to your words, looks at your actions, and judges you based on what you say and do. Only God can see the heart of a person.
WHICH CHARACTER FROM BEAUTY AND THE BEAST ARE YOU? No character in Beauty and the Beast is perfect, but we can use the characters from Beauty and the Beast to learn about our own hearts.
Are you Gaston (Arrogant, Prideful, Lover of Self and Lustful): He is the picture of the person who doesn’t need anyone else including God. He has himself to love. He has the affection and adoration of everyone – Le Fou, the townspeople, and all the fair maidens, but he cannot get Belle. Since he cannot conquer Belle, he becomes inflamed with his desire for her. The more he desires her, the less he can think straight. His lust and pride destroy him in the end.
Are You Le Fou (Seeking the Approval of Man and Not God): We watch Le Fou openly worship his “hero.” He elevates Gaston above everything and everyone. He is willing to say or do anything to get the attention and adoration of Gaston. Le Fou thinks Gaston is all powerful, and he proves he is willing do anything for him. He also is the eternal brown noser who does Gaston’s bidding. He lies, manipulates, and supports Gaston’s bad decisions, and falls over himself to get Gaston’s approval. Make sure to listen for Le Fou’s surprise quote while they are riding toward the castle. It is so subtle, but definitely a turning point for him.
Are You Maurice (Willing to look a little crazy for the right reasons): Everyone thinks Maurice is a little off his rocker, but his heart is in the right place. The Christian Maurice is the person who seems a little off. Maybe he dresses differently or makes weird statements. But there is a lot of truth in this character. He escapes to a small town to hide his secret and gets close to no one to protect that secret.
Are You The Beast (He allowed his circumstances to change his heart) – The Beast allowed the circumstances in his life to change who he was. His judgment of people is based on external appearances, and his heart becomes dark. He becomes the very thing he hated. In life this can look like the person who can quote scripture, but cannot live out the Gospel. The evilness of the heart is shown in the frown, lack of friendliness, and absence of joy. The Beast is literally wearing the evil of his heart on the outside. Eventually love changes his heart.
Are You Lumiere (Joyful, kind and entertaining) – Lumiere doesn’t hide his light in a basket. He raises it tall for all to see. This is the Christian that is a delight to be around. He knows the truth, speaks truth, and shines brightly. However, he is not willing to take responsibility for his actions and he doesn’t care if Cogsworth gets blamed for things.
Are You Cogsworth (Anxious and nervous) – Cogworth has not learned to enjoy the moment and to be content in all situations. He wants the castle to run smoothly and worries about how the Beast will react to everything that happens in the Castle. But he is just a little too tightly wound.
Are You Mrs. Potts (Kind, Generous and Caring) This older woman takes care of all. Have a spot of tea, sit a spell, get warm by the fire, and let me tell you a story. In the church we all know this person. The entire church can point to who this person is, she loves us all, and we all know and love her back.
Are You Chip (Innocent and childlike) – His behavior is endearing, and he is a friend to all. He has a visible impairment, but he doesn’t let that define him. It is hard not to love Chip’s innocence. It is that innocence that parents desperately try to preserve in their children, but as evidenced in the movie, Mrs. Potts cannot protect him from life and the tragedies that we encounter.
Are You One of the townspeople (Cannot think for themselves, Riled Up Easily, follows along with the crowd) – This is probably the worst type of person to be. They follow along blindly without really finding out the heart of a person. Being a part of the crowd, not finding out the truth for oneself, and having the pitchfork ready at all times.
Are you The Enchantress (I view the Enchantress as a dear friend or Your Conscience almost like Jiminy Cricket) – She reveals your heart to you. This is the mark of a true friend. They see you for who you really are, and try to help you see yourself. But be careful being this person in someone else’s life because sometimes when you are helping someone else see their faults, you miss your very own.
Are You Belle (Thinks she is a little better than everyone else, But has a kind heart) – While Belle is kind and caring, she walks through the village with her nose in the air. She thinks she is a little better than everyone, but she has the ability to see past the external. She remains positive even in the face of a horrible situation. And her kindness and love can change the hearts of others.
Which character from Beauty and the Beast are you? Which character do you want to be? How can you use the characters to help your children live up to their best?
My overall recommendation is the film is suitable for ages 6 and up. My 2 year old granddaughter did leave the theater for a couple small scene. My 88 year old mother commented at how loud the film was, and I did jump in my seat once. Comments from the family ranged from “I loved it. It is my favorite movie” to “I like the live-action Cinderella better.” But our family gave it 13 thumbs up.
4) GAY MOMENT IN THE FILM:
In an interview last month Director Bill Condon talked about an “exclusively gay moment” which occurs at the end of the film. The character, Le Fou, is openly flamboyant in the film. In the tavern scene when he is singing the Gaston song, he literally prances around. At the end of the movie, Belle and the prince are dancing in the ballroom along with the townspeople, and Le Fou changes partners. He briefly dances off with another man, and it was definitely a moment on the screen. There was no “gay kiss,” and if the “exclusively gay moment” hadn’t been publicized before the release of the movie, it may have been laughed off as a comedic exchange.
Are you planning on seeing the movie? Have you seen the movie? Which character do you most identify with?