Belle (2013) – Film Review
I saw this film on a whim recently and was so glad I did. Some of you may have missed it in theaters as it is an independent film that was only available for a short time and my local indie film theater. I must say, that it is worth the trouble to catch it at your local cinema, if you have the chance. I absolutely adored this film and would pay to watch it again!
In a nutshell, the movie is a British drama with a good amount of romance to keep the heart racing and raise hopes of a happy ending. The plot centers around the beginning of the end of slavery in England and the intriguing life of Belle, a daughter of British royal and African descent. The characters are based upon real people and events, but the plot is largely a fantasy written by Misan Sagay which embellishes upon the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle.
The film takes place in 1779 and centers around the court case juried by William Murray, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Uncle of Dido, aka Belle. The true beauty of the case is the way in which it captivates the numerous and complex aspects of Belle’s life as a woman caught between two worlds which were not allowed to mix at the time. And yet, there Belle is, a woman allowed to enjoy the life of nobility and comfort, but not allowed to dine with her white family.
The love story is also wonderful and not cheesy in the least bit. In fact, the other great part of this film is the stellar performances by the actors. I really believed all of the actors which enthralled me; pulling me further on this journey with Belle in her quest for freedom and sense of belonging.
There is also the happy ending which sees a change in the attitude towards slavery, and a corresponding shift in Belle’s world.
For those of you that are obsessed with period pieces, this one will surely not disappoint as the costumes and setting are spectacular and leave nothing to be desired.
While it must be known that I have a tenancy to watch British Dramas to tedium, this movie stands out for me more than others because it has something others’ lack: substance. There is so much heart in this film on the part of the writers, actors, and producers, that it is hard not to fall in love with this film as well.
Overall, I give the film 5 out of 5 stars, since I would gladly watch it again – in fact, I will.
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