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Film / Panna a netvor

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If you think this was your average Beast and Beauty love story, you haven't been paying attention.

"Every woman has the power to make beautiful the man she loves."

Panna a netvor (translated as Beauty and the Beast in English) is the 1978 Czech adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, directed by Slovak director Juraj Herz. If you think this has your average Beast and Beauty love story, you haven't been paying attention.The film has plenty of Gothic Horror atmosphere and the rather innovative decision to depict the beast as a bloodthirsty, bird-like creature who's haunted by his thirst for blood and slowly-developing humanity.

One night, a bankrupt merchant is traveling to sell his late wife's portrait, but is caught by a storm and seeks shelter at Netvor's castle. Netvor, though he never shows up to the merchant, gives him food and shelter and takes an interest on the portrait. Before leaving, the merchant sees a rose bush and picks one as a present to our heroine, his yougest daughter Julie and the spitting image of the portrait. The merchant is instantly confronted by an enraged Netvor, who threatens his life, unless one of his daughters goes instead of him. Julie, the one who truly loves her father, goes immediately to Netvor's castle to save her father. Netvor is torn between his thirst for Julie's blood and his increasing attraction to her kind personality, which is slowly making him human...

Of course, The Power of Love ensues.

This film has the following tropes:

  • All Take and No Give: Julie's older sisters Gábinka and Málinka are spoiled rotten by their father, but have little qualms with letting him die when he is in trouble. It's also suggested that his financial troubles have something to do with them constantly throwing money away for shallow things.
  • Animalistic Abomination: Netvor is a giant bird-like beast who drinks the blood of animals and people to survive.
  • Arc Words: "Every woman has the power to make beautiful the man she loves." is particularly true for Julie as she is able to convert Netvor into a beautiful prince after accepting him and falling for him first.
  • Beast and Beauty: Duh. Haven't you translated the title?
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Netvor contemplates how beautiful Julie is while watching her sleep. He was also contemplating whether to kill her and drink her blood or not.
  • Boy Of My Dreams: In her drug-induced sleep started by Netvor's minions, Julie dreams of a handsome Prince Charming, actually Netvor in human form.
  • Berserk Button: Don't you ever dare to pick Netvor's roses without his permission.
  • Bridal Carry: In her Dream Sequence, Julie's Prince Charming carries her off like this.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Netvor broods about being neither human nor monster, but he is increasingly moved by Julie's kindness and innocence.
  • Cassandra Truth: In the opening scene a Scullery Maid tells the wayfarers that crossing the forest isn't a wise move and she's right, of course. They are all caught up by Netvor and slaughtered.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Netvor's human form shows up along with the castle regaining its original white magnificence in both Julie's dream and reality after the curse is broken.
  • Civilized Animal: The Beast is depicted as one in this version, as he is strongly implied to be a bird who is trapped in a humanoid body instead of a human trapped in a monstrous body. As such, he eats much like a bird of prey does, using his talons to hunt wild animals.
  • Creepy Crows: In the opening scene crows are seen flying above the heads of the wayfarers. They aren't Genre Savvy enough to get the hint to not enter the woods.
  • Dance of Romance: As noted in the Dream Sequence entry, in her dream Julie slowly dances with Boy Of Her Dreams.
  • Darker and Edgier: Probably one of the grimmest adaptations ever, as it features a male lead (the Beast) who was formerly a monstrous creatures haunting the region, killing anyone who crosses him and drinking their blood.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The Scullery Maid in the opening scene tells exactly this to her employers. Too bad that her they aren't taking her advice.
    • Julie's father has the same ill-fated idea, although it doesn't turn out as bad as the former example.
  • Dream Sequence: A drug-induced sleep shows Julie the Boy Of Her Dreams, complete with Bridal Carry, Headbutt of Love and a slow Dance of Romance.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:. Netvor gets to be turned fully human after much angst by The Power of Love, Julie gets rewarded with her Prince Charming after having accepted him for who he was first and thus being able to break his curse.
  • Empathic Shapeshifter: Netvor, instead of changing completely from monster to human in a single pivotal scene like in almost every other adaptation, changes according to Beauty's perception of him: when she grabs for his talons, expecting them to be a pair of hands (as he's forbidden her from looking at him and she believes he's human), they magically transform into human hands, but it isn't until she declares that he's beautiful in her eyes that the transformation is complete.
  • "Everyone Dies" Ending: No one survives in the wayfarers' arc. Combined with Kill It with Fire as their convoy is burnt out and a subsequent Freak Out makes the survivors kill each other.
  • Final Girl: Averted with the Scullery Maid in the wayfarers arc. She is the Sole Survivor of the convoy, but her arc closes with Netvor clawing at her throat, and it's obvious that she wouldn't survive the experience.
  • Fog of Doom: The wayfarers' montage has heavy fog that makes their trip even more perilous.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Gábinka and Málinka are greedy, shallow, and uncaring. Julie is kind, thoughtful, and cares deeply for her father.
  • Forced Transformation: Netvor is cursed into his half-bird half-human form, but eventually is able to become fully human.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the wayfarers picks a white rose and gives it to the scullery maid. Shortly after Netvor arrives and kills them all. Guess why Julie's father ends up in trouble.
    • Also, Julie's dream foreshadows Netvor's human form and their future romance.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: When at their wedding, Gábinka and Málinka's husbands note that their father-in-law is melancholic. Their wives carelessly say that they used to have a sister, but now she's dead.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: As Netvor kills the Scullery Maid, he starts to claw her breast but nothing else is shown.
  • Grimmification: Of your average Beast and Beauty tale. The imagery is considerably darker than in the more well-known films, the castle is a crumbling and desolate place instead of the usual Big Fancy Castle, and the Beast is a genuinely inhuman-looking bird-monster hybrid who kills a frightened bystander on-screen. The Beast also keeps on Hearing Voices in his head that try to persuade him to either kill and eat the Beauty or kill himself instead.
  • Haunted Castle: Netvor's Castle is every Perky Goth's dream with its lavish ruins of past glory.
  • Hearing Voices: Netvor has dialogue with voices around him when angsting about Julie and his condition. It's never revealed if he's talking with his creatures or his struggling conscience.
  • Hell Is That Noise: When the wayfarers stop riding through the forest, they could hear ''something'' that is reaching out to them and cannot help but stare, horrified.
  • Hemo Erotic: Netvor's thirst for Julie's blood has blatant sexual undertones, as the scene where he almost drinks her blood looks like he's contemplating raping her.
  • Humanity Ensues: Unlike most versions of the story in which the Beast is a human who is trapped in a monstrous form, Netvor is strongly implied to be a monstrous bird who is slowly becoming human.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Julie has a striking pair of these, which fits her well along with her Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold.
  • Jumped at the Call: Julie goes to Netvor about two minutes after learning her father is in trouble, and later leaves her father when she hears that Netvor is desperately calling for her.
  • Love Before First Sight: Although he never wants to be seen, Julie slowly falls for Netvor, after hearing his voice and enjoying his company.
  • Love Redeems: It was starting to work for Netvor with his attraction to Julie. Whle previously he had no qualms about killing random people, now he's showing signs of doubt and compassion.
  • Missing Mom: Julie's mother is long dead, and her half-sisters' mother as well.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Averted several times on-screen, most of all with the butchering scene for Julie's older sisters' wedding.
  • Non Human Lover Reveal: When Julie accidentally gets a glimpse of Netvor's actual appearance, she's horrified to learn he looks like a bird-monster hybrid. She gets better, though.
  • No Name Given: Viewers never learn Netvor's true name.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The monster in the woods, Netvor, isn't seen on-screen for a good portion of the film. That doesn't stop it from haunting the forest and killing everyone who has the misfortune of crossing it.
  • Odd Name Out: Julie's name doesn't share any assonance with her older sisters' names, Gábinka and Málinka. They actually don't share pretty much anything.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: The opening soundtrack has an eerie organ pipe that fits well with this grim adaptation.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Netvor's scarcely seen little minions, who appear to be some kind of white skinned, dirt covered hobgoblin.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: While Julie lives with Netvor she's provided with precious gowns and jewelry.
    • Also, Julie's sisters have always had fancy gowns in contrast to Julie's modest clothing style, although their father is going bankrupt. This underlines their egotism and shallowness.
  • The Power of Love: Julie's love is what will make Netvor human, as his appearance becomes whatever she thinks of him.
  • Reaction Shot: Netvor isn't shown for half of the film, the film instead preferring to show the reaction of those who see him.
  • Scenery Gorn: Netvor's haunted castle is a former Big Fancy Castle.
    • The Black Wood is also shrouded by a perpetual Ominous Fog and is the least safe place to travel around in the film.
  • Something about a Rose: White roses are a recurring theme, as they are Netvor's favorite flower and picking them without his permission is pretty much pressing his Berserk Button.
    • Julie also is compared to a timid white rose, for her beauty and simplicity.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Though she is basically a hostage, Julie starts to fraternize with Netvor because he treats her well, and out of boredom and loneliness.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Julie is the spitting image of her late mother, as the portrait shows.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Netvor after he becomes human.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: After talking with Netvor for the first time, Julie sits like this.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Julies calls Netvor out when he lets her see her father through the magic door right before telling her he couldn't see her. Julie says it is cruel of Netvor to do that.
  • Youngest Child Wins: At the end, the good Julie is the one gets to Marry for Love with a handsome man. Her sisters are instead humiliated in front of their husbands as punishment for their greed and egotism.