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Belle is recommended for U


     From the moment Belle started playing on the big screen, I was captivated and sucked into the world of U, the virtual reality realm within the movie. The animation, music and message shown throughout the film has caused Belle to shoot up on my list of favorite movies. 

     On Jan. 14, 2022 the Japanese film was released in the United States. The storyline follows a young girl, Suzu Natio, and her experience with the virtual world U. Within the world of U, users turn into their “true selves” and are freed from reality. In this case, Suzu is able to express her love for singing as an avatar named Belle, which she cannot do in the real world. As Belle gains popularity on the internet, a dark force known as the Beast also catches the spotlight. As the world, including Suzu, tries to uncover the identity of the Beast, a more serious issue arises, causing Suzu to be hit with sudden realizations in both the real and virtual world. 

     Belle is a twisted modernized version of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale. For example, there is a Belle and Beast in each movie, the Beast is cast out to a castle in both movies, everyone is against the Beast except for Belle, and Belle attempts to convince the people that “you can't judge a book by its cover.” Although the two movies share many similarities, the messages are completely different. The original Beauty and the Beast follows a stereotypical princess plotline of saving the Beast, who just so happens to be a prince, whereas the new Belle focuses more on real world issues. 

belle movie

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     The duration of the two-hour-and-one-minute film introduced many things affecting society in the real world today. Virtual reality (VR), body image, depression, child abuse and trauma are all displayed throughout the film during Suzu’s quest. I believe this movie is extremely beneficial to viewers because it shows how VR and social media can obscure reality and lead people to think far from the actual truth. Alongside Suzu, viewers can also understand how to cope with these issues in ways such as singing. 

     The soundtrack from Belle is another amazing wonder itself. While watching, viewers are surrounded by glorious tear-jerking songs along with a breathtaking flurry of colors unfolding before their eyes. After watching Belle twice in a row, I listened to the soundtrack repeatedly because the deep meaning behind each song spawned such emotion and empathy while also making me want to scream and rock out to the lyrics.

     I feel like this movie really spoke to a large audience because of how relatable it was. Even just by incorporating VR, it spoke to the younger generations as VR is becoming more popular amongst the world today. Also showing such common issues in today's society such as depression, anxiety and trouble coping with past trauma, Belle helped to bring awareness to these issues that in the past were ignored. The message of being your true self is represented many times, which I think is such an important thing to be shown to viewers today.

     All in all, this movie is definitely a ten out of ten! I highly recommend it for anyone and everyone because each person can interpret it differently and gain a unique experience. Personally I could watch this movie over and over again and never get tired of it. The atmosphere created when I am transported into the world of Belle is so refreshing and different from any other movie I have watched before. Each time I watched Belle, it was as though my senses had been reopened to be hit with a blast of fresh spring air, and that is something definitely worth watching.

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