Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle Review
Date: 2022 Jan 27 20:32
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Mamoru Hosoda’s latest film Belle hits theaters across the UK and Ireland from Friday 4 February 2022. Thanks to the good guys at the anime company anime ltd We have already seen the film.
You can find out if the movie is a good fit by finding screenings near you and booking tickets. www.bellefilm.co.uk, Or you can read along with us or your review to know our thoughts on this great film.
Belle is the latest cinematic offering from director Mamoru Hosoda. Being a prominent director you must have seen his other films which include summer Wars, wolf baby, The Girl Who Leapt Through TimeThe Boy and the Beast and Mirai,
Belle tells the story of Suzu, an average rural Japanese schoolgirl. She enters Yu’s virtual world and Belle becomes a hugely popular diva. At its heart, it’s Hosoda’s reinterpretation of Beauty and the Beast, but it’s not just that, it offers so much more.
The first thing you can see is the similarities between Belle and Summer Wars. Both exist in a virtual world, with commentary on social media and online life. Both have themes similar to avatars and the masks you create in the virtual world. There are also monsters similar to the ones we’ve encountered before in previous works such as Wolf Children and The Boy and the Beast. It makes it feel thematically familiar, like wearing a well-worn coat, or a comfy blanket.
Although familiar elements make this film uniquely Hosoda, Belle doesn’t feel like it’s the same elements washed together again. In this film, he takes these familiar elements to a whole new level and puts them into action. The writing is particularly tight, immersing you in the story and characters. He gives us a great cast of supporting characters in both the real and virtual worlds. It helps to add a sense of realism and wonder. Comic Relief is also a good help.
Animation wise the movie is exactly what you know and love. The character designs all look very familiar. The locations used are all apparently based on real locations and match the gorgeous background art of the scenes that we’ve all come to expect from his previous films. While she is in Yu’s world, Belle appears to be more 3D-CGI based animation, which really helps to emphasize the virtual aspect and separates the real world from the virtual. Everything seems like a huge budget.
The soundtrack of this film really elevates it. Since the main aspect of the film is about Suzu being unable to sing in the real world, they have really gone all out with the composition and music. We haven’t heard the English language dub yet, but were very impressed to learn that they are re-recoding all the songs in English under the supervision of the Japanese production team. The sound track is one of them which is a must buy immediately. I expect that when its home video is released they will include the sound track in a special/collector’s edition because it’s something you can keep listening to.
There are many twists with this digital fairy tale, some you’ll see and others you wouldn’t immediately expect. It is this unexpected aspect that stunned me. It’s not something I was counting on in the Hosoda movie and that’s what makes it so exciting. While others may be content to withdraw similar themes and elements, Belle tells us a familiar coming of age story, but with an unexpected twist.
If I were limited to describing Belle in a world to quote on posters or packaging or whatever, I’d just submit “perfection”.
Just go out and catch this movie! you will not regret it. It’s an audio visual treat, and Studio Chizu is excellent.
This is one of those rare movies that is destined to go down as an anime classic. I can imagine people still watching and enjoying it in 10 or 20 years, singing its praises. It also makes me wonder, what can Hosoda do next on top of this?!
Belle hits theaters in the UK and Ireland from Friday 4 February 2022. This anime is distributed by the company Anime Limited, You can find a screening near you and book tickets www.bellefilm.co.uk,
Source: Otaku News