Blogger: Rachel Kent
I saw the new “Beauty and the Beast” movie over the weekend and enjoyed it! There were parts that could have been left out, but overall I thought it was very well done. I even saw it in 3D–something I rarely do because I don’t like wearing the glasses for the entire film. The Beast’s library was breathtaking in 3D!
I will try not to spoil any of it for you (there might be some tiny spoilers), but I wanted to reflect on one major difference I noticed in the live-action movie when I compared it to the cartoon. The characters have stronger motivations and are much deeper in this new one. Belle was always a pretty strong-willed girl, but Emma Watson takes her to a new level. More strikingly, her bumbling-oaf-of-a-father has been transformed into a dad a girl could be proud of. I loved him in this new movie! He isn’t a wimp. Even Gaston’s sidekick LeFou is portrayed as less of a caricature. There is more backstory and that made it easier to show more strength of character. I also loved that Beast can read and discusses books with Belle!
They changed up the lyrics a bit too, and I did miss my favorite line in the Gaston song, “And every last inch of me’s covered in hair!” (At least they still had the part about eating all the eggs!) But even the changes they made to the songs helped deepen the story.
I believe authors can learn something from this movie comparison. You can have a good story without digging too deep into motivations and emotions of the characters, but if you allow those characters to speak and “bleed” on the page you are going to have a stronger book. The same thing goes for writing nonfiction. You can tell your audience what you’d like them to know, but if you open up and become vulnerable the takeaway will be much deeper.
How do you make sure your characters go deeper and speak to the audience?