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Review of the film "Belle and Sebastian"

Freestyle and not too fascinating adaptation of the popular French children's book about a small boy and a big dog.


Little orphan Sebastian (Felix Bossuet) lives with an adoptive family in the French Alps, on the border with Switzerland. The Second World War is in full swing, and the guides from the Resistance secretly forward Jewish refugees abroad. Also in the mountains it is troubled because of the fact that the "The Beast" wanders along the pass - a large white dog that escaped from the evil master. Shepherds believe that the Beast cuts the lambs, and dream of getting rid of it. Once Sebastian encounters the Beast and realizes that this is not at all dangerous, but simply a suffering animal. He gives the dog the name Belle, starts to feed her, and soon they become best friends. In the meantime, the hunt for the Beast is getting tougher, and the Germans are determined to catch red-handed those who help "non-Germans".

Shot from the film "Belle and Sebastian"

Shot from the film "Belle and Sebastian"

One of the loggers was played by Mehdi El Glaoui, the son of the creator of "Belle and Sebastian" Cecile Audrey. As a child, he played the main role in the TV screen version of the novel

Novel Cecile Aubry "Belle and Sebastian" is a classic of modern French children's literature. The book was first published in 1965 and immediately turned into the eponymous television series, which became a hit both in France and in Britain. In the future, two television telesciles and Japanese hand-drawn television were produced (in 1980, Japanese animators often screened Western books), and in 2013 appeared a motion picture Nicolas Wannier. This year it was released in Russia to prepare viewers for the soon Russian release of two sequels, the first of which was released in 2015, and the second - in 2017. Obviously, releasing only the freshest, last year's tape would be ridiculous.

Shot from the film "Belle and Sebastian"

Shot from the film "Belle and Sebastian"

Felix Bossuet received the title role, winning the casting, which involved more than 2400 small boys

In Aubrey's book and in television adaptations, the action develops in peacetime and revolves entirely around Sebastian and Belle. The film Vanier moved the events to 1943 year and added to the plot of the Nazis. It was supposed to make the picture more dramatic, but it was rather prevented. At least from the point of view of the Russian viewer. For us, "Germans in the city" is such a strong annoying factor that the adult conflict between the French and the occupiers outshines Sebastian's struggle for preserving Belle's life. The original narration is based on the love of the audience and readers to a hefty but charming dog. However, it is very difficult to concentrate on this feeling when you struggle with all your strength for Sebastian, his foster family and other Frenchmen who at any moment can become victims of Nazi malice. And although the Germans only occasionally appear in the frame and do not rage (it's still a children's film, not an adult war movie), they cast a very long emotional shadow.

Shot from the film "Belle and Sebastian"

Shot from the film "Belle and Sebastian"

However, probably this is the problem of an adult, not a young spectator - the picture was clearly not created for those who saw "Go and look". Also it must be remembered that in France the Germans did not behave so rigidly as in the USSR, and in "Belle and Sebastian" it is perfectly visible.

The historical atmosphere also affected the flow of the picture. "Belle and Sebastian" is too old-fashionedly imposing for the current generation of children, and even a seemingly intense climax is not particularly dynamic.

On the other hand, the film is filled with charming or colorful actors, mountain landscapes are breathtaking, and remarkably removed wild and domestic animals will please any connoisseur of nature. In addition, the tape teaches the guys to valor, heroism and care for others, whether people or unreasonable creatures. So this is though not particularly fascinating, but the "right" movie. Although it still seems to us that there was no need to rewrite the classical original and write there something that was never there.

Since 5 April at the cinema.

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