Can Love Restore Humanity
Can Love Restore Humanity
The new Beauty and the Beast movie is a visual masterpiece, we wanted to explore a theme that is weaved through the film. Can love restore humanity?
Disney’s films often use themes that relate to our own stories and tie them into a big story all humanity is involved in. The Beauty and the Beast movie explores themes of freedom, sacrifice and humanity. This video essay explores the theme of humanity in the film and demonstrates the links from this story to the story of God and humankind.
Disney’s recently released Beauty and the Beast is amazing! A great story retold with brilliant acting, CGI and the well loved songs from the original. Now I realise it may be just a fairy tale but I wonder… is this story closer to real life than we might initially think? Weaved through the movie is this big struggle to be human. The castle inhabitants are under a spell which is eating away their humanity and turning them into objects.
Currently they can speak, and move but their humanity, it’s fading. Lumiere says, “With every passing day we become less human” and elsewhere he says, “I’m getting more metallic each day” as he slowly transforms into a candlestick. The effect of the spell is robbing from them what it means to be human. And the cure is love. It’s love that is needed to break the spell. And Belle is the saviour.
Initially the beast is an angry and harsh monster. But Belle’s care for him is softening his heart. As the movie progresses we see his humanity slowly being restored. So that towards the end of the movie he’s able to realise the beauty of the garden, as if for the first time. He’s able to selflessly put her freedom and safety above his, letting her go free and when he’s attacked by Gaston he spares his life. As the beast dies Belle cries out “Come back, please don’t leave me. I love you” This love is what finally breaks the spell.
The transformation is completed as the beast turns back into a prince and the household objects become people again. Humanity restored. It’s a story that captures our hearts because we want to believe that love can save. Could it be that this pattern is true not only in this fairy tale but real life too? There’s something very precious about being a human, we’re created in God’s image, which means that humanity is not only a fact of biology but a privilege given by God. In the tale the prince has immense privilege but uses his position and power for his own ends, greed, anger, lust & pride. This is his downfall, and he brings the curse upon himself.
I’m guessing that you’re probably not a prince, you probably don’t live in a castle but in our lives we’ve all acted a little like that prince. Our self-centredness has hurt others and cut us off from God. Like the fairy tale we all live under a curse. Each day that we live ignoring God we’re drifting further from what it means to be truly human. What God created us to be.
A powerful love is needed to break the curse. So powerful that we couldn’t do it ourselves. God sent his own Son, Jesus, to be our Saviour. Just like Belle gave up her freedom so that her father could go free. So Jesus gave up his freedom so that we could have ours. Jesus takes our curse, He tastes our death, He gives His life for us to pay the punishment we deserve. Now that is incredible love! Accepting God’s love for us restores us to what it truly means to be human, back in a relationship with God now and in eternity. Jesus’ love is the love that is powerful enough to break the curse all humanity is under.