Daily Archives: November 16, 2017

Once Upon A Time Character Review: Belle

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Once Upon A Time. I am only writing up to the end of season 6. Read at your own risk if you have still not seen the previous seasons.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Once Upon A Time to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

For many female movie fans (especially those of a certain age), Belle from Beauty And The Beast is and will always be a revelation. Unlike her predecessors, her end goal was not finding a man and living happily ever after. She was more concerned with her books and taking care of her widowed father.

Halfway through the first season of Once Upon A Time, Belle (Emilie de Raven) was introduced to the world of OUAT via the episode Skin Deep.  This Belle is similar to the animated Belle in that she is smart, kind, loves books and agreed to go with the Beast aka, Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) in return for sparing her father’s life.  But while the animated Belle has almost a simple, almost predictable character arc, the OUAT Belle has a much more complex character arc.

For most of the series, Belle and Rumple have an up and down relationship. Their mutual love is obvious, but so is her will to completely change him that she ignores the fact that he and will forever be The Dark One.  This roller coaster, is of course, not helped by Rumple’s addiction to magic, but that will be discussed in detail next week.

Their relationship is only truly healed when Belle realizes that as much as she loves him, Rumple will never change completely. After their son, Gideon is kidnapped and raised by the Black Fairy (who also happens to be Rumple’s mother), Belle realizes that the Beast and the man are one and the same. She cannot love one or the other. She has to love both.

To sum it up: Romantic love is not as simple as the fairy tales make them out to be. Even the best of couples have their moments and their disagreements. The key to writing a romance is balancing the reality of being in a relationship with someone while including the expected plot points of the narrative. The OUAT version of Belle is both the traditional romantic heroine, but her relationship with Rumple, as it often is in real life is complicated and sometimes difficult. This version of Belle stands out because the writers successfully walked the very thin line of writing a romance, but with the real life pitfalls of romance. It’s not easy, but when it is done well, the audience or the reader truly appreciates the romance and the romantic heroine.

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Books, Character Review, Fairy Tales, Feminism, Once Upon A Time, Television

Tracee Ellis Ross On Being A Single Woman

It’s hard to be a single woman, even in 2017. Though our accomplishments are astounding, two questions always come up: when are you getting married and when are you having children?

Actor Tracee Ellis Ross, star of the sitcom Black-ish and daughter of music legend Diana Ross is a single woman. At the age of 45, she has neither a husband or a child. Recently, she spoke at the Glamour’s 2017 Women of the Year Summit about being a single woman.

Her speech is nothing short of amazing and inspiring.  The truth is that for most of human history, from the time a girl was born, she was told in every way possible that how she is viewed depends on whether or not she has a man. Being single is a fate worse than death.

In Emma, Jane Austen made the following comment about single women:

“Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor. Which is one very strong argument in favor of matrimony.”

The fact is that doors that were unquestionably open to men in regards to education, career and opportunities to go beyond the boundaries of hearth and home have only recently been kicked open by women.  But there is still one more door to kick down: the idea that a woman’s worth, despite who she is and what she has accomplished, is strictly based upon if she has a ring on her finger and a child at her feet.  A man’s worth is not judged by these factors, why must be women be judged by these factors?

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Filed under Books, Emma, Feminism, History, Jane Austen, Music, Television

Throwback Thursday-Minority Report (2002)

When it comes to police work, the ability to prevent crime by being one step ahead of the criminal may not only dictate the speed in which the criminal is caught, but will also help in preventing future crimes.

In the 2002 movie, Minority Report, John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is the chief of an elite police squad in Washington DC in the year 2054. Their squad is able to prevent crime by seeing into the future and stopping crime before it happens. But when Anderton is accused of a future murder, he is determined to prove that he is innocent.

I am not a huge fan of Tom Cruise, but this movie is not bad. There is enough tension in the narrative to keep the audience engaged. This movie also reminds me, at least, that a) human beings cannot control fate (as much as we would like to) and that technology will always have one or two flaws.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday