Sunday, December 4, 2016

La Bella e La Bestia

I found out about this via Megan Kearney's Beauty and the Beast tumblr-an Italo-Spanish mini series Beauty and the Beast. Starring Alessandro Preziosi and Blanca Suarez, it retells the classic story in two episodes, which Kearney provides links to here.
IMDB summary:

The story starts with Bella Dubois, daughter of a merchant/Sea captain. She decides to be a maidservant at Leon's castle because her father couldn't afford the debt at the moment. When Leon first meets Bella he has passionate feelings for her because of her bravery and she seems to understand his anguished memories.Their love is developing beautifully but encounters opposition in the form of his jealous cousin. Prince Leon finally convinces Bella that she is not a bet. He cancels her father's debt, frees her and they marry.
^This poster definitely gives the Beast more of a Phantom of the Opera vibe. Has anyone seen this/have opinions??

Speaking of BATB media...I haven't posted anything on the upcoming Disney version, mostly because my fellow bloggers have been covering it quite well, and you've probably seen the trailer floating around the internet by this point. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, but have to admit I'm excited about it. I especially love that they seem to be returning to the tale's roots more so than just reinventing the Disney cartoon-referencing the French literary version/even McKinley's "Beauty."

Also from Kearney recently-a helpful answer to anyone who says BATB is about Stockholm Syndrome, and a link to a good article on Fairy Tales and the Necessity of Fear


  1. That's an interesting article linked at the bottom of the post, but I'm not sure if I'm convinced. "She doesn't show him any affection until he finally stops acting like a jerk" and "it is only after the Beast frees Belle... that she's able to finally fall in love with him" sound a lot like the article's definition of Stockholm Syndrome, "mistak[ing] a lack of abusive behavior for kindness", to me. Others' mileage may vary, but personally I actually find I'm more 'comfortable' with Beauty and the Beast tales when I don't try to be comfortable with every aspect of them. If that makes any kind of sense.

    1. First of all, I may not really understand Stockholm Syndrome well enough to really tackle this...but at least in the Disney version, I think (especially for the time allotted them in a family friendly movie) they did a good job of showing that the Beast truly changes over time. When he saves her from the wolves, getting bit in the process, that wasn't just lack of abuse, but his first sacrificial act. Later we see him seeking out ways to be kind to her-giving her the library, nice dinner and dancing dates-and then the ultimate, letting her go while thinking he'll never get to see her again or get out of his Beastly form, lets us know that he truly loves her selflessly, even though she doesn't understand the full impact of what he was doing at the time. In fact, even though the Beast starts out as a gentleman without the temper issues in the French versions, he never really does anything sacrificial-the castle's magic provides entertainment and luxuries for Belle and they just talk every night. I guess he does let her go, which is a risk, but it's only temporary for him and the whole "dying from heartbreak" because she's a little late is kind of lame.

      Although as you say, there might still be an element of Stockholm Syndrome in there (especially depending on different versions) and maybe that's okay on some level? Belle is always essentially conned into living with the Beast, but without that happening there could be no romance and no story

  2. That sounds like a good miniseries! I’m excited for the upcoming Disney version too :) .

  3. Hi! I know the post is old but, for those interested in the mini-series, if you can imagine the BATB tale set to a telenovela pace you got the min-series in a nutshell. In my opinion, the chemistry between the two actors pours into their characters so well that the on-screen romance seems natural. Despite the uneven power dynamic and the means the romance was developed (not to mention Leon's jerkiness), the storyline was splendid. On top of that, the subplots are just as entertaining and heartwarming as the central plot. The love triangle (more like a square) will throw you for a loop but it turns out alright-ish in the end.

    For anyone else who saw the mini-series, what were your thoughts on it?