La Belle et La Bete is a story about a beautiful girl that gets tormented by her very materialistic and selfish sisters. In order to save her fathers life, Beauty decides to live with the beast. With the kindness and purity of her heart she manages to break the beasts curse and melt his heart.
I like how in this film there's a very large contrast between some of the characters. Lets take for example the huge difference in behavior and clothing between Beauty and her sisters. The sisters behave very vein, thinking much more of themselves than they actually are, which highlights the Beauty of Belle, makes it more innocent and pure. Which most likely is the thing that at the end manages to break the Beasts curse.
This leads me to another example of clash between two different characters, which is between the merchant and the Beast, both which are trying to win Beauty's heart. The Beast may be ugly on the outside, but as the film goes on we learn that there's more to him than teeth and fur, and that deep inside the character is trying to desperately hide his animal instincts. Whereas the merchant however, handsome on the outside, plots to kill the Beast and steal his treasure.
This leads on to a question, what separates a man and a beast? Is it the way you look, or is it the way you feel?
"Many men are more monstrous, but they disguise it" Here the Beauty is saying that many people behave like complete animals, but they manage to hide it with the way they speak or dress. Whereas the Beast, even if it looks like a monster, shows much many more human feelings than most men alive.
Throughout the progress of the film we see Beauty less scared of the Beast and she becomes more and more attached to it. The only thing separating the both is the idea of being "human".
We follow the film till the end where finally The Beauty and The Beast unite together when Beasts curse gets broken. This could be reflection of domesticating the beast. We can see, however that the beast wants to be domesticated ( in other words, be "normal") throughout the beginning of the film. We can see that he's in pain, especially after he asks Beauty not to look into his eyes. "Do you mind if I watch you dine? You'll see me every evening at 7 o'clock." Animals never get to eat at the table, hence all the Beast can do is watching the Beauty eat, because this is the closest he can get to being civilized, its like he's following his instincts which don't allow him to eat at the table. Just like there's an example of the Beast trying to go against his instincts to try not to chase the deer.
The Beauty and the Beast start spending more and more time together as the film develops. The set takes place at a beautiful Le Chateau du Raray, and the producer uses very mellow lightning during most scenes, and very bright lighting back at Beauty's family home. The use of mellow light seems to give more character to the love story going on and gives it a dream- like mood.
As you can see on the Figure above the house fitted perfectly for the set. As it's surrounded by sculptures of large animals which again add more character to the film.
Figure 1: http://www.organicmechanic.org/scratch/belleetbete.jpg
Figure 2: http://www.thirdwaymagazine.co.uk/photos/ReviewsOct08La-Belle-et-la-bete.jpg