On The Run
Belle & Sebastien: The Adventure Continues
Stars: Felix Bossuet, Tcheky Karyo, Thierry Neuvic and Margaux Chatelier
Director: Christian Dugua
Scriptwriters: Juliette Sales, Fabien Suarez and Cecile Aubry (based on Cecile Aubry’s novel “Belle et Sebastien”)
Composer: Armand Amar
Cinematographer: Christophe Graillot
Running Length: 97 Minutes
Rating: PG with themed mature material, closer to a PG 13 rating
The book about a Swiss boy and his dog was a hit in Europe and is akin to the “Heidi” book that was written in 1880 by Johanna Spyn. That book resulted in several books and later films about Heidi. They concerned a young girl living with her grandfather who raised goats. The “Belle and Sebastien” book was written in 1966 by Cecile Aubrey and resulted in three films, two of which are now available in the United States. The theme concerns a young boy, living with his grandfather and they have sheep. Being set in a different century, the “Belle and Sebastien” then concerns WWII.
The first film, “Belle and Sebastien” (subtitled) concerns the boy (Felix Bossuet) discovering the white dog, naming her Belle, and they become friends. The dog is accused of being a sheep killer. There are problems with the townspeople, and the grandfather (Tcheky Karyo), is a gruff man to deal with. Living with them is also the grandfather’s niece, Angelina (Margaux Chatelier). Their adventures also concern moving Jewish people across the border and away from German troops.
Reviewing the second film, “Belle and Sebastien: The Adventure Continues” (English) has Angelina involved in a plane crash on a mountain side and people trying to find her and others on the plane. Introduced is the pilot of a small plane used in the rescue (Thierry Neuvic), who doesn’t like dogs. You can imagine the adventures of boy and dog in small plane, plus evading people on the ground and if that weren’t enough, there is a forest fire, too. You think “Lassie” got into trouble and had to figure out what to do? See what happens to Belle, a large white farm animal/property guardian. Woof. You don’t have to see the first film to be caught up on the story.
What you learn from this film is that friendship is forever and you don’t let your friend down. Sebastien is bound and determined to find Angelina, even though adults say “go home,” he goes forward in his search along with Belle, who can find things others can’t find. There is humor here, also, along with the friendliness of the village, family and with Belle. Men are still the head of the household and you have to go behind their backs to get anything done, like start a search As you can guess by now, the stars of the film are Belle and Sebastien. The rest of the cast is fine, especially Tcheky Karyo, who portrays the grandfather as both loving and gruff. Family can mean a combination of animal and human.
The photography by Christophe Graillot is fascinating and composer Arman Anar’s music works well with the scenery. The camera work is excellent especially in the plane ride where Belle and Sebastian sneak on board a small rescue plane. It gives “courage” new meaning. Hold your breath at some scenes. This is small village mountain country and people help each other out, so when the war begins, they are defiant, and there is plenty of action here.
Copyright 2022 Marie Asner