Beauty And The Beast (2017) is a live-action adaptation of the 1991 Disney classic (which was an adaptation of a French fairytale) and tells the timeless tale of a cursed prince (Dan Stevens) who must find somebody to love until the last petal of a rose falls. Enter the intelligent and bookish nerd, Belle (Emma Watson) who wants something more out of her shitty village and chooses to take the place of her father when he becomes imprisoned by the Beast. Beauty and the Beast also stars Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline and is directed by Bill Condon (Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Dreamgirls)
My Thoughts On The Characters And Story
In another addition to the live-action Disney adaptations comes Beauty and the Beast, the story everyone loves to shout “Stockholm Syndrome!” at whenever discussing what films to show young’lings. Now, I am one of those people that believes anything can be remade (or reimagined or rebooted or re-gofuckyourself). There are many that hold the firm belief that if you like a reboot or remake, it somehow discredits your love for the original and/or it will rework how you experienced your childhood. I enjoy the 1991 Academy-Award winning animated classic because it is spectacular and Celine fucking Dion performs a duet in it.
I enjoyed this 2017 adaptation and look forward to the future Disney live-action adaptations of their animated properties. Cinderella (2015) was great and last year’s The Jungle Book was bonkers amazing. Just thinking about how Jon Favreau is going to handle The Lion King and the upcoming Aladdin and Mulan – what a time to be alive!
Emma Watson is easily my favourite aspect of this film. When I think of the idea of “perfect casting” and who truly embodies their character, especially because of how revered the animated Belle (voiced by Paige O’Hara) is, Watson will forever remain on my list. She has fantastic chemistry with every one of her co-stars, particularly with her father Maurice (Kline) and the dashing Gaston (Evans). The film relies on how Belle interacts with her surroundings and if you don’t believe the relationship she shares with these characters, it will fall flat. Watson manages to illustrate the type of relationship she has with Maurice, Gaston and the Beast by her varying expressions and mannerisms that dictate who she is sharing a scene with.
Her aggravation with Gaston differs from her aggravation with the Beast. Her affection for her father is depicted brilliantly without the need for her to tell the audience, “I love you dad! You’re the best!” It’s the little things you notice like how she rested her hands on Maurice’s knee before he left for the market toward the beginning of the film, they share a bond that is just lovely to watch. Expanding on the idea of a bond Belle shares with someone, I loved the depiction of her growing affection for the Beast and how their relationship was handled.
“There is never a moment where I felt a moment was forced or unbelievable for the sake of progressing the film along.”
Every sequence that progresses their relationship is logically executed. There is never a moment where I felt a moment was forced or unbelievable for the sake of progressing the film along. Stevens is great as the Beast, however with all the Disney money the company has floating around, the CG on the Beast is just brutal. It kind of looked as if the effects were still rendering and instead of waiting they just shipped it out anyway. I truly loved Watson and Stevens together but after seeing what they could accomplish with The Jungle Book I expected more in terms of the aesthetics of the Beast.
When it comes to the lavishly-produced sets and costumes, not one frame of the screen went to waste. Everything was gorgeous and the iconic ballroom sequence with the disgustingly spectacular performance by Emma Thompson singing the titular song, I teared up. It was nothing short of magical. Listening to the song again makes me tear up. My Grinchian heart grew three sizes after the ballroom sequence.
Speaking of Thompson, the voice actors are phenomenal. Ewan McGregor as Lumiere is nothing short of perfection and Sir Ian McKellen‘s Cogsworth is wonderful. Chip, the young son of Thompson’s Mrs. Potts, could have been cut down a bit. I really only tolerate him because he’s Mrs. Potts son but I could not stand any time his annoying voice piped up. Besides him, everyone truly excelled in their roles and there is nothing more to say about Luke Evans as Gaston that hasn’t already been said. He radiates Gaston. The man is Gaston, damn it. He may not look like he eats five dozen eggs but his ability to ooze narcissism and execution of the Gaston-voice is unparalleled.
How Were The Other Aspects To ‘Beauty And The Beast’?
There are a few changes made from the original and I feel some of them worked, particularly the inclusion of how Belle’s mother died. The controversy that surrounded the further development of LeFou’s (Gad) character is undeniably moronic and I liked how they worked his character. The guy sung a song about adoring another man in the 1991 animated film, everyone knew LeFou was crushing a little bit on Gaston. I’m not quite sure about the rewatchability factor for the film, besides a few musical moments and that bad ass snowball throw at Emma Watson I probably won’t feel the need to watch it again anytime soon but only time will tell.
I adored Condon’s utilization of the wide shot because it showcased the production value that went into this beast (sorry) of a picture, however there were certain instances where he would pan up & around a room that I could have done without.
I would be remiss to discuss a Disney picture and not include any discussion on the musical components of it. Besides a few moments that lingered on a bit, you will be smiling throughout the musical numbers especially that absolutely wondrous opening number set to the classic “Belle.” I always wondered why everyone in this town couldn’t mind their own fucking business instead of getting all up into Belle’s business but hey… She’s a woman who likes to read in a Disney movie (what a freeeeak!)
If you’re a fan of the original Beauty And The Beast or if you have absolutely no knowledge of the story at all, check out 2017’s Beauty And The Beast.
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Beauty And The Beast (2017) receives 4/5 Matt Damon heads