Monday, 18 October 2010
When her fathers shipping business has problems, they family are forced to sell nearly everything they own. They put together their money with one of Beauty's sisters' fiancé and move away to the country. Although things are hard to begin with, everyone learns to cope but then their father goes away on a trip to make some more money. He is away for months and months but when he returns, he does so with treasures for everyone and the most beautiful rose for Beauty. As one of the petals falls, it turns into gold and Beauty wants to know why. Her father begins to explain to the family about his trip.
On the way back home, he got lost in the woods in the middle of a storm and stumbled across a huge castle. It seemed that no one was home but the doors opened themselves and let him in. There, he recovered for the night and set off to get home. As he is leaving the castle though, he sees the amazing garden, full of perfect roses and harmlessly picks one for his daughter. As he does, the owner of the castle, the Beast, roars and demands to know why. The Beast has shown nothing but hospitality and he is repaid with selfishness and greed. The Beast makes a deal that either he can give up his life for picking the rose or his daughter can come to the castle in his place in order to save his life. Beauty agrees to go to the castle in his place but when she gets there, she realises that everything is not as it seems and the Beast really isn't one at all.
What I thought
What I loved about this one was that we got to know about Beauty's family and the reasons behind why she had to go live with the Beast. She showed a lot of courage when she told her father that she would go to the castle to save his life. She is very determined to get what she wants and firmly believes that she is doing the right thing. Some have said that Beauty is too obsessed with how she looks but I don't think this was how it was at all. She doesn't think she is beautiful at all, she thinks she is quite plain and boring but she really doesn't mind. Beauty seems happy enough in her own world of books and learning that she doesn't yearn to be like her sisters. I would have liked it if at the end of the story, she gave up a bit more of a fight when she realises that her looks have changed but I wasn't too opposed to that part.
The Beast isn't the same as he is in the Disney film at all. The basics to his story are still the same, like the fact that he has a curse put upon him and it will take something spectacular to break it. He tells Beauty's father that he will never harm her so she isn't particularly scared of him at any point. He is very wary about spending time with Beauty at times because of what he is and the things that she believes in. It was so interesting to watch Beast grow and become more human by the day when Beauty makes him do things like turn his own pages of a book and eat things that she does.
I felt like this version of the story was a lot more magical than I had expected. Unlike in the film where the household items became enchanted too, they were invisible this time and that added a whole lot of mystery. You have no real idea who or what is doing everything around the house apart from when Beauty begins to hear the voices. She knows that something is going on but cant figure out what she has to do.
The only thing that I didn't like about the story was the fact that from the first time Beast meets Beauty, he asks her to marry him and continues to do so every single day. I understand that time was running out and he needed to get her to fall in love with him but he didn't even give her any time at all to get to know him. This would have annoyed me more than anything else and I would have wanted to spend less time with him instead of more.
Posted by Lyndsey Rushby at 01:00