It surprises me how much relationship advice one can get from classic tales. There’s a reason why masterpieces are called so. The best and most realistic version of the beauty and the beast fairytale I found was La Bella e la Bestia tv series 2014 from Mediaset Spain, LuxVide and RaiFiction Italy . An unkown, underrated and underappreciated version, it feels relatable, real and relevant. There are no magical or fantastical elements, everything is laid out in a humanly manner which is the most captivating aspect of the film and makes it stand out from all the other versions. All the magic is played out by emotions. This film is heavy on human feelings. It is also visually stunning, the setting, costumes, sets are breathtaking. This is an intense and mature film which really strikes a chord. The performances of Alessandro Preziosi and Blanca Suarez are flawless and bring the magic out solely with their expressions.
Its story and dialogue is woven to perfection. Bella refers to life as an adventure and journey akin to a sea voyage to the distant americas. There is talk about the uncontrollable nature of the sea, a reference to Bella herself who cannot be wooed or tamed by the mere title or wealth of the prince. The journey of discovering another person is a profound lesson depicted in the series. There are numerous lessons to be learnt from this narration about human psychology and emotional intricacies.
Is it the oleander’s fault that fire turns it into poison?A reference to the misfortune of the prince turning him into a beast.
There are greedy relatives in this version, conniving and scheming, something which we all have to deal with. It also explicitly portrays that when a man doesn’t love you, he doesn’t love you, no matter what you do. It’s a lost cause. Furthermore true feelings can’t be concealed under superficial games, they will shine through and everyone will notice.
There are similarities between La Bella e la Bestia and the Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Similar to Helen, Bella is loving and innocent, she remains kind, loyal and dutiful to her family, and is ready to think beyond herself. What is different about this beauty and the beast tale from the Tenant of Wildfell Hall, is that the prince is shown to be a kind and benevolent ruler with a perfect life. His basic personality is of a settled, contented real man. Basically he’s a good guy to begin with. He gets turned into a beast by fate. This is why he manages to return to his true nature. Mind you a man who’s nature is like Arthur Huntingdon a player and a scoundrel, proud of his vices, never changes. Helen also has a beast of a husband and despite her Belle-like beauty, love, virtue and loyalty towards Arthur, his ill manners don’t budge rather he increases his vicious behavior turning more sadistic to get at Helen. A beast remains a beast. A prince who became a beast by misfortune can become a prince again, only if he wants to change for himself.
Bella mentions that the prince is a beast and won’t change which is true, in reality people don’t change. They never will. Even if they do change it is solely for themselves. Thinking otherwise will land oneself in a lot of suffering and the solution will just be to part ways.
This is a must watch chick flick for anyone looking for more substance, meaning and impact. Click on the link below to watch the English version of this two part miniseries.