Bella (Josette Day), to save the life of his father, a bankrupt businessman who gets lost in the woods and goes to the castle of a Beast (Jean Marais), decides to go to live with the monstrous being, despite his terrible look will cause fear and repulsion.
After some initial credits Cocteau himself, chalk in hand, writing on a blackboard. It warns us, the viewers, on the need for us to get carried away by the ingenuity in order to enjoy the history that is about Serna presented.
The lyricism of its images, halfway between the force and fascination surreal expressionism, leads to a heady world of magic and fantasy where everything is possible. A world of unbridled imagery in which disembodied arms hold candelabra, serving wine and curtains are, where stone busts and sculptures with curious eyes watching what is happening around him, and the tears become diamonds and a glove you can move to the place you want.
Loaded with unforgettable sequences, highlight one in which Bella, wrapped in a halo of poetic evanescence, enters in a quasi-weightless in the mysterious enchanted castle stays under the line of delicious score Georges Auric.
The actor Jean Marais, who was then director lover, took on his dual role with competence. Since it plays both the beast and the quarrelsome Avenant, highlighting especially when acting under the heavy makeup and hairy Hagop Arakelian, basing his brilliant work on the expressiveness of his eyes and tone of your voice (must see the film in its original French.)
So convincing is his performance that, we are told at the time of its release, upon its transformation into a prince, the actress Greta Garbo uttered the now famous phrase " Devolvedme my beast! "
Josette Day, meanwhile, added to her beautiful face dose of sweetness and delicacy appropriate to the character.
always is a pleasure for the palate indescribable cinephile review this title Essential European fantasy. Work with the talent of its author, restored the depressed postwar Europe capacity to dream.