Quick-Thoughts: Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle (2021)

Well, there was a lot of movie in that movie for a movie; felt like I just watched an entire mini-series in one go for better and worse. Better because as a redraft of both Disney’s Beauty and the Beast AND (let’s not forget) Hannah Montana, it passionately adds more than what I think films such as Ready Player One (2018) or The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021) failed to show in their imitations of the internet age’s virtual realities and new media hotspots for celebrity potential, and how Mamoru Hosoda’s takes (through similarly overdramatic examples) seem a bit more genuine to our own world’s circumstances with such social technology in terms of how it influences our mental and exterior behavior. Worse though because it makes for a tonal disaster with its colossal cargo of storylines that it tries to intersect into one complete story, causing so much potential commentary in each of them to be narrowed by its almost hyperactive momentum; dramatic moments are bomb-dropped like crazy in this, and even though many of them have such compelling meaning on their own, it tampers with the overall pathos so unevenly. The animation and creativity behind Belle is undeniably special, which makes it hurt to not like this as a whole because of the drawbacks that come of that quirk.

Although, I suppose maybe the overstimulation from the execution of this film is fitting in light of its setting, but at what cost for telling a well-thought-out story? Conveniences went loco towards the end! 

Verdict: C+

2022 Ranked

“Belle” is now playing in select theaters.

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