Movie Review: Belle



Release Date: May 2nd, 2014 (USA)

Watched: August 28th, 2014


This film was spellbinding to me from the start to the finish.

The background music was magnificent, the wardrobe was exquisite, the drama was deep and the moral message was endless.

I enjoyed it as a historical film, and it’s not a secret, that, as a black female, history has not been kind to people like myself, but the history depicted in this film pleasantly surprised me.

The beginning already stole my heart with Dido Belle’s father being so sweet, loving, and caring to her as he took her to his uncle’s house to live as she is entitled as the daughter of an aristocrat. Even though she was half-black, he staunchly told his uncle that she was his daughter and he was not ashamed to give her his name.

I got to watch what it was really like to be a ‘mulatto’ girl in the 18th century during the slave trade in colonial England, viewing it instead of just reading about it in a history book. Dido Belle (Gugu Mbatha Raw) grew up with her pure white cousin, Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon), who she shared a very special and lovely sisterly bond with, but had a very confusing place in society and in there household. When her father died, she was wealthy with a good family name, but being half-black hindered her.

The film tackled many social issues of the time, including the dependence of women like Elizabeth on ‘suitable’ suitors. I deeply admired Mr. Davinier fighting to make a change despite his class. The Zong case that rocked England and the slave trade was horrific and it was interesting looking at the legal, financial/economic, and moral aspects of the matter. The forbidden love between Dido and Mr. Davinier was simply beautiful. I was ecstatic when justice is served in the end, and when Dido was unequivocal in her love for Mr. Davinier and her loving acceptance of her bloodline

Straight 10/10 for me. All the performances by the actors were just sublime, and it was great watching Tom Felton act the asshole, James Ashford: his specialty.

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