Is Gaston the real villain of Beauty & the Beast?
Have you ever noticed that Gaston, the villain of Beauty & the Beast, is the only villager actively trying to rescue Belle from the literal monster in the castle? Sure, he might be an unsavory character, but Gaston has not kidnapped and detained anyone as far as we know.
There are plenty of list posts on the internet (here, here, here) that go into detail about continuity breaks or mistakes in the Beauty & The Beast movie- so I'll spare you my take on all that. Instead I will present you with some ideas about the Beauty & the Beast universe that have been interesting me lately.
What if Beast and Gaston are the same person, wrestling inside Gaston's subconscious?
Gaston is a brutish figure in the town that men envy and women adore but the target of his affection (Belle) sees him as an animal. What if the entire movie represents Gaston's introspection as he tries to see himself the way that Belle sees him- as the Beast. What if the struggle between man and beast is representative of one man's struggle against his baser instincts in an attempt to win the heart of a bookish woman?
Belle's struggle for love sends some pretty negative messages to young women.
In the story, Belle is a pretty book worm from a small town. People think that she is weird because she chooses to spend time harnessing her imagination, reading for pleasure, and building her intellect. Through the story Belle is given two choices of men: a literal beast and a pompous self centered brute. Where were the other options? Surely there were other men (or women... or just people in general... this is 2016 people) living in the village... why were her only two options the worst possible extremes?
I feel that this sends a negative message to young women that, if you read books or enjoy being alone, people will think you're weird. Also, you won't be able to have a normal, healthy, relationship because only jerks and monsters will want you.