B E A U T Y A N D T H E B E A S T
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, etc…
My Rating: 5/5 (I’m being very generous)
My Review : (Spoiler Free)
In equal measure I was both nervous and excited about seeing this movie. Was Disney about to ruin one of my favourite movies of all time? I watched the first couple of trailers which showed some promise but as anticipation for the movie built up and trailers, clips etc… were abounding everywhere, I refused to watch them. I wanted to be amazed by the movie not the teasers. On Friday, the day of release, I went to the cinema and sat while Disney brought the cartoon I loved so much to life.
It is difficult to find the right words for this review without sounding too gushing. Needless to say I really enjoyed it. Yes it has it’s faults, it is not perfect but overall it is immensely enjoyable. I loved the fact they used Beast’s Castle in the Disney Intro (shown above). Even Emma Watson (I’m not a fan, Sorry) as Belle did not destroy the movie for me. To be honest I’m a little confused by other reviews which are commending Emma for portraying Belle as a gritty, strong minded feminist – firstly they need to look up the definition of feminist and secondly, I saw no difference in Emma’s Belle than the Belle in the animation. Have they not watched the cartoon version? My only distraction with Emma’s Belle is that one moment her skirt would be tucked into her bloomers then it would be out, then in again. I think the continuity department needs readjustment.
Beast though is my favourite character in the original animation but also in this movie. Dan Steven’s did a very good job as Beast, if he had ruined him I would have never forgiven him. Initially I was a little unsure of his look.He is a little different to the cartoon version but it did not take me long to grow used to it.
In all honesty I was a little disappointed by Luke Evan’s portrayal as Gaston. I did not find him as villainous as the original, more comical. Josh Gad’s performance also though entertaining, was just lacking something. This might be because I had very high hopes for these characters in live action form and I felt a little let down. It also might be due to the fact that the rest of the cast were so good. All of them, were excellent. I especially enjoyed the voice performances of Ewan McGregor as Lumiere and Emma Thompson as Mrs Pott’s. I defy you not cry at the furniture. You will feel stupid but trust me everyone I was with in the cinema were sobbing.
The cinematography from the first scene to the last is wonderfully shot. The detail in each frame should be applauded, it is a visual feast. In places it is very CGI heavy, but that is to be expected from a fantasy movie like this, when they are bringing to life quite an ambitious animation.
The soundtrack is also worth mentioning, while they have kept most of the songs from the animation, there are some new lyrics which work well. In prologue begins the same but then changes and makes a little more sense. The role of the Enchantress and why she showed up is also explained (sort of). There are also a few new songs which work really well. My favourite being “How Can A Moment Last Forever?”. It is sung during the movie by both Belle’s Father and Belle, but Celine Dion sings it on the end credits and it is beautiful.
While this movie has a number of references to the original Disney animation, there is some originality in the storytelling. There are some interesting insights into the backgrounds of both Beast and Belle as well as a number of nice touches involving the other cast members.
I had so much love for the animation that I did not believe I would like this new re-telling, however I was proved wrong. I really enjoyed this movie. Ignore the bad reviews, go and see it for yourselves with an open mind.