This film is not only about one girl. It is a glimpse into the issue of slavery in 18th century England; the head of Dido’s family is a justice of the Head Court of England and is dealing with a crucial case regarding treatment of slaves. Not only did the result of this case shape the future of England, but it plays a major part in Dido’s relationship with her uncle.
I was blown away by Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s powerful portrayal of Dido. Her frustration and hopelessness is brilliantly shown in a haunting scene where Dido pulls and beats at her skin, wishing there was a way to change. Tom Wilkinson also gives an excellent performance as Lord Mansfield, head of Dido’s family, and Miranda Richardson plays the manipulative and ambitious Lady Ashford extremely well.
As a whole, Belle is a great film. It deals with heavy moral issues: finding your place in a world and overcoming obstacles to stay true to yourself and your beliefs. The humorous moments are well-scattered throughout the movie, making it lighter than you may expect. You’ll find yourself cheering for Dido and her sharp wit throughout the entire film.