Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Beauty and the Beast aka Cinematography and Controversy and why to watch it

Unless you live under a rock (and if you do, thanks so much for coming out to read this!), you should be aware that Disney is releasing their live action remake of Beauty and the Beast round about now. That's big news in itself, especially considering the enormous success of Cinderella back in 2015 but the last few weeks the buzz around this new release is that its being hyped as containing the first openly gay Disney character and according to the director, ""a nice, exclusively gay moment". Naturally, waves of outrage are surging through the Christian community and equally naturally, every film / book issue isn't REALLY an issue until all bloggers have fully expressed their opinion (whether wanted or not) so here I am.

Let's all take a deep breath. Yes, I was being rather sarcastic a sentence or two ago but to tell you the truth, this whole shindig is making me roll my eyes somewhat. Having said that, I realise there are people out there who are genuinely concerned and others who are probably unsure so I'm explaining why I definitely will be going to watch it.

So why is everyone so upset? From what I understand and hear, Christians especially, are unhappy with Disney's decision because it 1. ruins a family film, 2. Disney are pushing their gay "agenda" and 3. it's glorifying sin. If there's any I've missed, feel free to post in the comments and I can address them there.

1. It ruins a family film. As far as I know, there's only one scene which really displays homosexuality and its fairly minor so 95% of the film shouldn't be ruined! It's also a fantastic opportunity to explore this topic with kids and have that conversation around homosexuality and what the Bible teaches. It's better that they hear it from you than someone else and this really could be the moment.  Plus, it's a great way to show them a very clear example of a movie portraying something God says is wrong as right as they will inevitably come across other similar messages and perhaps be confused. Also, I really hope you're not boycotting Beauty and the Beast and letting your children watch Downton Abbey because that is slightly hypocritical 😉 (Not having a go, just a reminder to everyone, including me, that as Christians we should be consistent.)

2. Disney are pushing their gay "agenda". I would be more surprised if they weren't at this stage but that still doesn't mean we shouldn't see it.  Yes, perhaps, Walt Disney would never have allowed it but he's long since gone.  Disney is not a Christian company and they are not run by Christians, so why do we expect them to hold Christian values? A whole lot of of different agendas are being constantly pushed upon us in films - euthanasia, open relationships, nudity and more are all being portrayed as normal in many modern films. We shouldn't be surprised at it but expect it.  Jesus calls us to go into the world and to missionally embrace culture (my pastor's coinage here not mine). This does not mean that we participate in or applaud sin but rather, engage with those around us rather than boycott everything that offends us and cut ourselves off from others outside our Christian bubble. I read an excellent article when Me Before You was released which I can't find now talking about how we need to watch it so we can have meaningful conversations with others about these issues. The same is true here.  Yes, "agendas" are always going to be pushed - whether right or wrong - but with the Bible and Holy Spirit, we know what is right and wrong and should not be adversely affected.

3. It's glorifying sin. Because bestiality is not? Ok, so maybe you're thinking that the beast bit is ok because it's so fantastic no one could possibly think of it as real. On the other hand, homosexuality is much more common in today's society so it's more dangerous to glorify it. Well, God makes it pretty clear that sin is sin whatever it is. Yes, something that is wrong is potentially being shown as a positive and good thing. Yes, sin may well be glorified in this movie but you know what? I think Jesus would go watch it because (see point above), He engaged with culture. He went to the places where the super religious righteous people would not go and associated with the people they would never acknowledge to win their hearts. I'm watching this movie not only because I think I'll enjoy it but because it's an opportunity to experience what those around me are interested in and to better understand and win their hearts.
Picture from Risen which is well worth a watch!
Finally, we're arguing over this scene before the movie has even been released. I've found from experience, that you can't judge very accurately if you don't know ALL the details so I'm keeping a very open mind for now. I love the trailer, I love the lead actors and I can't wait to watch it! Maybe I'm preaching to the converted here but my advice would be to consider the facts wisely and carefully rather than making an emotional and rushed response and make sure that whatever you do or don't do, it's ultimately for God and His glory.

As for me, I'm going with friends to a gorgeous old fashioned cinema with velvety seats and chandeliers to watch it on the big screen with a fancy dinner at a posh restaurant after. Bring it on!


Evangeline said...

Very very good points!! I'm seeing it with two my musical friends on Monday Evening after Orchestra and we're having dinner after, it looks rather good!

The Elf said...

It was SO good! You'll absolutely love it Evangeline! I completely and utterly enjoyed watching it - and I have to say I barely noticed the homosexual overtones of La Fou ;) Let me know what you think of it!

Evangeline said...

I will for sure!! Also I had to make a new instagram (it's avonlealetters)

Evangeline said...


MovieCritic said...

Yes, excelent points! I love reading your posts because it gives things a different view that I agree with!

The Elf said...

WASN'T IT INCREDIBLE?! @evangeline The music especially = <3 <3 <3

Aww thanks @MovieCritic!