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Why The Scarlet Flower 1952 Soviet Animated Movie Can't Be A Love Story?

Sunday, October 23, 2016
(Warning: possible spoilers for the 1952 Soviet animated film The Scarlet Flower (Аленький цветочек, Alenkiy Tsvetochek in Russian))

The Scarlet Flower is a variation of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale with a number of notable differences. In the aforementioned fairytale, Beauty has to stay with the Beast and they eventually end up getting together. The same can be said regarding the main characters of this film. The question now is if what happened in said movie can properly be classified as a love story.

Why this movie and fairy tale can’t be a love story?

the scarlet flower, 1952 soviet animated movie, film, love story, beauty and the beast fairytale
It doesn’t seem right to do so just as the story it was based on doesn’t seem like a love story either. The only reason Nastenka, the ‘Beauty’ in the movie, goes to live on the island where the Beast resides is because she felt that she had to for her father’s sake.

Once there, she doesn’t see how the Beast really looks like until much later. As the film progressed, it didn’t seem like the 2 characters really got to know each other all that well. Sure, they talked, but it wasn’t face-to-face.

The Beast was kind to Nastenka and didn’t mistreat her, which can explain why she didn’t mind returning and staying with him and why she’d started to call him as her friend. But it’s also true that the Beast guilt-trips her into staying with him and not leaving by saying that he will surely die of grief should she go away.

Why does the Beast love Nastenka?

the scarlet flower, 1952 soviet animated movie, film, love story, beauty and the beast fairytale
It’s easy to see why and how the Beast can fall in love with Nastenka. She’s beautiful, but she also has a kind heart and a great personality.

What does Nastenka love about the Beast?

It’s harder to see what she might like about the Beast though. Sure, he treats her kindly and doesn’t hurt her and they talk sometimes, but is that enough for her to fall in love with him so easily and so soon after they just met?

Maybe if the passage of time was more clearly shown and maybe if we had seen more interaction between the 2 as they got to know each other more, the fact that they actually ended up falling in love with each other could be more believable and plausible.

Do those 2 know each other enough to be able to start a believable romantic relationship?

As it is, you can’t help but wonder if they really know each other all that well to start having romantic feelings for one another.

But, then again, this is a fairy tale story so it seems to be the norm to have characters meet and fall in love practically at first sight.

Still, sometimes, it can be hard to suspend your disbelief regarding matters like this. And that’s why I’m glad that The Scarlet Flower didn’t end with Nastenka and the Beast (who has now returned to his true form) sharing a kiss. It didn’t seem right for them to kiss. It seemed far more believable to think of them as friends (at least for now) especially since that’s what Nastenka’s been saying anyway before she supposedly fell in love with him.

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Rusembell (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Couple in the image is meant to represent Nastenka and the Beast while the red flower they’re holding is meant to symbolize the scarlet flower
- YouTube video features a scene from said movie

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