Cinema: Mamoru Hosoda replays Beauty and the Beast, in the age of networks

(AFP) – Often compared to legendary Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, his compatriot Mamoru Hosoda explodes the codes of animation in “Belle”, in theaters Wednesday, showing that the virtual world can be both “hard” and “terrible” and “positive”.

In the French version of this film which brings a radical and ultra-contemporary look on social networks, their contributions and their excesses, the actress and singer Louane, revealed in “The Bélier family”, interprets the songs and lent her voice to the main character.

Suzu is a contemporary Japanese teenager, shy and broken by the accidental death of her mother when she was little. She invents a double life on the internet where she finds a taste for singing and finds herself becoming the musical muse of millions of young people.

The metamorphosis is complete. Suzu becomes Belle and the uniform of the sad little schoolgirl gives way to a flamboyant look of a diva with a magnetic voice in this virtual world generated by an application called “U”.

As she adds up the fans, Suzu suffers a surge of hate online. Instead of being defeated, she will use her avatar to resist it.

“For the young generation, the internet existed before they were born and is therefore inseparable from their world, we must accept it and learn to use it better,” Mamoru Hosoda told AFP, estimating that many filmmakers s ‘tie into the internet instead of showing young people how to take control of their destiny.

“We spend our time telling them how bad and dangerous it is”, lamented during the presentation of the film in Cannes the 54-year-old director, nominated for the Oscar in 2008 for “Miraï, my little sister”.

“Human relationships can be complex and extremely painful for young people. I wanted to show that this virtual world, hard and terrible as it can be, can also be positive”, underlines Mamoru Hosoda.

Formally daring with an explosion of colors, songs and action scenes, the film also intends to break the codes of the representation of girls in animation revealing how “young women are underestimated and not taken in. serious by society, “according to the director.

“It really annoys me to see these characters of young women treated as something sacred and unrelated to the reality of who they are,” he adds, anxious to allow his female characters to escape. “the oppression of having to be like everyone else”.