Film Review: “Belle” (2014)


Directed by: Amma Asante

Writer: Misan Sagay

Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Tom Felton, Sam Reid, Matthew Goode, Alan McKenna, Penelope Wilton, Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon,

 Amma Asante has shown us how he put together all the necessary elements to make a truly mesmerizing and romantic story

A story where love reigns above all else, and honesty and truthfulness are the central things in society, where nothing matters except your high rank in society and how much money you earn within a year. This is the true story of Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mabatha-Raw), an illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral, who with the help of a vicar’s son (Sam Reid), ends slavery in England.

The importance of this film is to tell the story of caring people, who defy society and prejudice to show how important is that you fight for what you believe is right. “Belle” is a British film set in England in the late 1700`s and shows the impact of the slave trade on English society.

We have already seen “12 Years a Slave” and “Lee Daniels`s The Butler”. What we have learned from those films is that our past was horrifying, and the cruelty of people knew no limits.  I found, through this film, that society allowed white people to treat people of different color horribly.

What we see in “Belle”, directed by Amma Asante, is absolutely unique and tells us a part of history where a few individuals in England try to end what, in the USA, was about to begin –slavery.  Elizabeth Belle is fortunate to be the daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral, Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode). Sir John Lindsay was a man of pride and honor. He loved Elizabeth`s mother so much that he would not let their daughter share the same fate of the unfortunate “black people” and strives to give her the life she was meant to have.

Before Sir John Lindsay leaves England to continue his duty in the Royal Navy, he asks Lord Mansfied (Tom Wilkinson), Elizabeth`s great-uncle, to take care of her while he is away. Lord Mansfied does as John asks; he raises Belle, gives her an education, and a she has a cousin, who is like a sister to Belle.

Soon after, Belle finds out that her father, who she was fortunate enough to know for a couple hours before he dies, has left her a substantial amount of money and she is not encouraged by her uncle to marry.

She meets a young idealistic lawyer, a vicar`s son (Sam Reid), who immediately falls in love with Belle. Belle’s burgeoning relationship with this young lawyer is met with disapproval from Mansfield who considers the match to be beneath her. Despite this, Belle decides to help John with his case. She gathers more evidence to prove the story surrounding a landmark trial of a slave ship, called the Zong, which had thrown its slaves overboard to collect insurance for lost cargo.

The beauty of this film is it has no wicked side. This film directed by Amma Asante is rich, intelligent, and inspirational, and a great example of what truly beautiful, and outstanding movie making can offer. With an amazing script, great scenery, and the talented ensemble cast of “Belle”, the audience was transported right back to the 1700`s. I am delighted to see that Amma Asante has shown us how he put together all the necessary elements to make a truly mesmerizing and romantic story.

7 thoughts on “Film Review: “Belle” (2014)

      1. Not the genre that they release here. Drama & history from Hollywood rarely gets released here.

      2. Superstar movies; especially of action (I Frankenstein, Ender’s Game & Non-stop didn’t release though), animation, adventure. comedy (mostly non-adult), rarely horror & thriller.

        The Oscar winners are released after they win Oscar & highly acclaimed movies might get a late release if the leading actor is popular 😀

      3. And I guess you know that they cut a lot from the movies that release, and those they can’t cut (like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), they ban 🙂

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