Saturday, March 03, 2012

Beauty and the Beast (Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise, 1991)

Beauty is a beast

Noel Vera

(What if the knights of Guy de Loimbard went to see Disney's 3D version of Beauty and the Beast?)

“Sh--the movie, she is starting.”

“What is the title again?”
“I told you already--Beauty and the Beast--La Belle et la bete.”

“But but--this is in color! This is not Jean Cocteau!”

“We are in a 3-D multiplex, not an art house theatre. One does not ask for canard à la rouennaise in McDonald's.

“What is that onscreen? A cathedral window?”

“It is stained glass--they are trying to tell the story of the prince.”

“They are boring me to death.”

“They are attempting a Gothic look, with colors a la Notre Dame.”

“I have seen better color on a comic book--Jean Giraud, Georges Remi. What is happening now?”

“That is Belle.”

“But--she is singing! I do not remember Josette Day singing in the film!”

“I have told you, this is not Cocteau, this is a Disney film.”

“What is that? A singing suppository?”

“That is a candle. He is named Lumiere. He is voiced by Jerry Orbach.”

“He has a very pleasant voice...but why would a suppository sing?”

“He is not a suppository, he is a candle.”

“I remember Cocteau's chandeliers--they were lovely and not a little frightening.”

“I know.”

“I do not think I can be frightened by a singing suppository.”

“I imagine it would depend on what it is singing.”

“Is that chamberpot singing?”

“That is a teapot.”

“Then why does it look like a chamberpot?”

“That is a teapot.”

“Yes, and you told me earlier the suppository is a candle.”

“It is a candle, you idiot!”

“Who are you calling an idiot? You thought that chamberpot served tea.”

“Will you please be quiet?”
“I would like to see you sip from that cup.”


“You will need more than a lump of sugar to sweeten that brew, monsieur.”


“Why do they sing so much?”

“I think they are supposed to be enchanted.”

“They sound as if they had suppositories stuck up their--”


“Cocteau's film, now that is enchantment. He did not need color, he did not need any damn singing, he used just simple magician's tricks onscreen so there is no cheating--”


“This movie, it tries too hard. Cocteau was a lazy bastard and had no money because he made his film just after the war, but he was smart enough to figure out how to do things on-camera simply and on the cheap--”


“Why is that camera swooping when they dance? What is this with the camera swoop--does it enhance the dancing any? Did the cameraman transform into a chimpanzee and start swinging from the chandeliers?”

“Will you please be quiet?”

“This is La Belle et la bete, no? This is not La Planète des singes.”

“I assure you, I cannot answer for the cameraman.”

“Who is that?”

“That is Gaston, Belle's fiance and the beast's rival.”

“He is funny, a little. If I were her, I would forget that bore of a beast and choose him, instead.”

“He is okay.”

“The beast here is so dreary and sullen, a lump of lifeless fur. At least Jean Marais as the beast in Cocteau's film was magnifique. Even Greta Garbo thought so.”

“I think so.”

“Marais was dressed and made up like a princely medieval Minotaur, with coiffed hair and beard. He was fabulous, a figure from out of The Arabian Nights visiting a story in The Decameron. Half man, half beast; half real, half myth.”

“How poetic.”

“'Give me back my beast!' Garbo said. She did not care for Jean Marais' real face at all.”

“Neither do I.”

“Even if Marais was stunning in real life.”

“I know.”

“They can keep this beastly bore that resembles a castrated bison. Gaston, he at least knows what he wants (the girl) and is amusing. Or give me Cocteau's beast and they can keep all the rest.”


“Give me back my beast!”


“Why are the townfolk carrying torches?”

“I do not know.”

“Do they intend to eat the beast?”

“I do not think so.”

“I think so. All those torches--it looks as if they plan to roast him.”

“I don't know--”

“They are such idiots. Everyone knows that bison is most tender when braised.”

“Yes, but please--”

Boeuf bourguignon--beef braised in burgundy, with mushrooms and root vegetables, perhaps some boiled potatoes, or butter noodles...”

You are making me hungry.”

I am already hungry, just looking at that two-legged beefsteak.”


'Braise the beef!'”


I am just singing along with the people onscreen--”

Will you be quiet?”

Did Gaston just fall from a great height?”

Please be quiet!”

Why do Disney villains always fall from a great height? It is as if the filmmakers do not want to give the hero the responsibility of kicking his arse.”


They would rather drop him out of sight. How convenient.”


So...want to know what I think of the movie?”

You have not stopped telling me what you think of the movie.”

You have not stopped shushing me.”

Because you have not stopped talking, you hind leg of a quadriplegic.”

Who are you to talk to me like that, you waver at others' faces of laughably small charcuterie? In 3-D, no less.”

Savor the scent from my armpits.”

Suck the brie from between my toes, you canted connoisseur.”

May you have an accident in the shape of an umbrella.”

May your testicles be tenderized by a fifty-pound mallet.”

May you sit on a broomstick.”

So did you like the movie?”


You did not like the songs?”

They loosened the wax in my ears.”

But the animation? Did you not find it colorful and amusing?”

Like the daubings in a toilet stall.”

Not even in 3-D?”

Aggravated my astigmatism.”

Then we have no quarrel?”

Not with each other.”

Shall we, then?”

Why not?”

Fetchez la vache!

(With apologies to Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, John Cleese)

First published in Businessworld 2.23.12


Epoy Deyto said...

ayus! haha. laughtrip sa madaling araw!

Noel Vera said...

Only saw this now. Thanks...