The film director Quentin Tarantino is famously quoted as saying that ‘Cinema is the new church.’ Certainly, films are the medium by which many people today have the opportunity to encounter the big spiritual themes of redemption and transformation. This is the case with Beauty and the Beast, another classic Disney film to benefit from a live action re-imagining.
This visually spectacular film retells the story of a prince (played by Dan Stevens) who becomes a beast, because of his self-obsession; and whose only hope is to learn to love and be loved, before the final judgement day.
His redemption and transformation is brought about through Belle (played by Emma Watson) who sees, within him, the person he could become. She helps him to turn away from his anger and pride. Belle is in the beast’s castle through another story of redemption, when she willingly substitutes herself to save her imprisoned father, taking his life-sentence for him.
This film is a cinematic feast, with beautiful imagery and captivating songs. But it also provides an opportunity to reflect upon the spiritual themes of redemption and transformation, made possible through a sacrificial substitution.