Beauty and the Beast Remake Got It Wrong… Belle isn’t the Main Character
It’s always been the Beast, and the remake thinks it’s Belle’s story
What was the moment when the live action version of Beauty and the Beast completely lost me?
It was when Gaston tied up Maurice in the woods. Totally stupid, unnecessary and contrary to who that character is.
Gaston is awful, but he wouldn’t leave Maurice for the wolves. Like, he’s a MUCH smarter and more manipulative villain than to leave an old man tied up in the woods.
And what was with the old witch rescuing Maurice….. UNNECESSARY!
When you adapt a Disney classic, don’t take out the strong elements that create tension and conflict and replace them with unnecessary plot points or random backstories.
Write a prequel for that.
ALSO! When the Beast gave Belle the library, it was NOT an afterthought. He TRULY meant it, and it showed his GROWTH as a character.
Another tip for rewriting classics…
Don’t screw up good character arcs.
The Beast isn’t supposed to like books!!!! He’s unrefined!!!! Didn’t Belle teach the Beast how to read in the original? Yes, she did. And it was for a REASON!!!
What’s more interesting? A beast who is so impacted by a woman’s love for books that he can finally see the beauty in stories… OR a beast who likes to read, finds a cool reading partner, criticizes her love of Romeo and Juliet and is impacted very little by this woman’s love for books… I think you know the answer. They TRIED to make the romance more logical, but they actually made it less meaningful.
Gosh…. I could go on.
So I will.
My question for the writers of the remake… whose story is it? The answer?
It’s the Beast’s story.
He’s the main protagonist. He changes the most. He has the last confrontation with the villain. Is it kinda sexist? Yes. Because Belle is only there to change HIM. And yes, that’s a social problem (among many others) with the original, but it’s still a solid character arc. You should only change it if you truly make Belle the main protagonist, which this remake did not accomplish.
The major turning point is when the Beast decides to let Belle go because he finally learns to love. He’s willing to sacrifice the possibility of a life as a human so that Belle can be happy with her father. He changed from being a beast to becoming a compassionate creature.
Does Belle change a little bit?
Yes, but she’s the secondary protagonist.
The story is really about the Beast. And the writers added stupid stuff about Belle’s past that in no way impact her decisions in the story. (Again, write a prequel for that) And they took out strong, necessary portions of the beginning that create really good tension, conflict and all that good storytelling stuff.
For instance, Maurice’s very meaningful desire to display his invention at some fair is replaced with a seemingly ordinary jaunt through the woods to sell a knick knack, which never really comes back into the story. At least, not in the same way the invention is used by Chip to chop down the cellar door and let Belle and her father escape. Remember that scene? It was really fun and cool.
My guess is… the writers made those decisions because… Now, I’m just guessing here… they misinterpreted this to be Belle’s story. When shocker….
she’s not the main protagonist.
And lastly, Audra McDonald should have played Mrs. Potts. Emma Thompson is great and all. But if I had to choose one over the other to sing the title track, it would be Audra McDonald.
Oh wait, one more thing… I really wanted those blue, magical raindrops at the end.
Other posts I wrote that have nothing to do with Beauty and the Beast:
Fiction posts: A Star Gaze