Did you know that slaves were treated just like products and that their owners claimed insurance by killing them? Okay okay, I think that was too much randomness in one opening sentence. Let me greet you guys first. Happy Wednesday guys and secondly happy onset-of-rains. Now that is something to be really happy about, isn’t it? Well, I love the rainy season and the weather in Hyderabad is just rocking. There are cold breezes throughout the day and so is the prediction till the weekend. So yay!!
Now coming back to topic in concern, this week I introduce you to this period drama called Belle. This 2013 drama was directed by Amma Asante and stars in Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson and Miranda Richardson in lead roles. The film is set in Hampstead, London during 1760s to 1780s. That said, you are in for some amazing castles, kingly properties and beautiful royal costumes throughout the movie.
The movie is taken from the 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray and the Zong massacre that happened. The story starts with a young mixed-race illegitimate child, Dido, being adopted and transferred to her kingdom. There she is brought up by her uncle, the First Earl of Mansfield and The Chief Justice of England, who treats her with utmost love and equality as his own daughter, but is constrained to exhibit the same because of the social inequalities those days.
The Africans back then were selfishly treated and were forced into every work as slaves. They did not have a respectable status in the society to such an extent that some of the weak ones were killed so that their owners could claim the insurance over their death. The movie revolves around such a case where slaves were killed by throwing them overboard by the captain of a slave-ship – an event now known as the Zong massacre. Dido Belle stands up against her father and helps a lawyer, who she later falls in love with, in settling the case against the favor of the captain. Despite being a Lady herself, she had to face racial abuse everyday in her life and hence she takes a stand to defend the case strongly.
The movie opens a broader angle on various aspects of social inequalities like racism, slavery, male dominance and women being treated as minority. The dialogues are heart touching and Gugu Mbatha does great justice to her role as Dido Belle. Her deep innocent eyes and perfect posture make her apt for the role of a princess. The film has won several awards and claimed critical appreciation. And here is the inspirational painting.
I have tagged the trailer of the movie for a quick preview. Watch the movie and like and let me know how you felt about it in the comments sections. Also do not forget to subscribe to E-mails, where you can get all my posts instantly via E-mail. Happy Watching!!