Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Filed under: — Helen on April 28th, 2017 12:04:33 pm

Beauty and the Beast is a successful live-action retelling of the animated Disney classic. It stays loyal to the beloved animated film, keeping all the classic songs, but it provides a little more background information, adding depth to the characters and story. The essence of the story remains the same, with Belle falling for her captor the Beast as he reveals hidden depths to his character, but the live-action retelling gives it a fresh feel and the inclusion of a fabulous new song makes the remake seem worthwhile.

Dan Stevens creates a loveable beast who starts off angry and rude and then reveals a softer more vulnerable side as Belle (Emma Watson) gets closer to him. The Beast’s costume and make-up were impressive but the dirty teeth went a little too far and were distracting during the scenes where they were visible. The unveiling of the handsome Prince as the spell on the Beast is broken was a little disappointing, as Dan Stevens, a notably handsome man, was not shown at the best angle, so the anticipated ‘phwoar’ factor was lacking.

The cast were all up to the singing requirements needed to pull off the classic tunes, with nobody standing out as not being up to scratch during the big numbers. All the classic songs fans will remember are included, but there are also  a couple of memorable new ones, including ‘Evermore’, a beautiful track sung by a heartbroken Beast (Stevens). It is a poweful love ballad with a haunting soundtrack that is the most memorable song of the film, even surpassing the old classic numbers, such as ‘Tale as Old as Time’ and ‘Be our Guest’.

The stand-outs of the film were Luke Evans who is a revelation as the incredibly arrognant Gaston, and Josh Gad who was equally good as his loving sidekick Le Fou. There has been a lot written about the Le Fou character being gay and in love with Gaston, but the suggestion is  very much ‘blink and you miss it’ and could have been done in a bolder way to make more of an impression. It’s not really breaking any barriers on the diversity front.

There are some impressive epic musical productions, most notably for the memorable ‘Be our Guest’ song, led by the candlestick holder Lumiere (Ewan Mcgregor). It is clearly the most expensive scene in the film, with flying CGI cutlery and colours exploding all over the place, but it was definitely worth spending the money on, as it creates a magical feeling that the viewer can get carried away in.

The animated version of this film is a much loved classic that probably had no need for a live-action remake, but as Disney remakes go, this hits all the right notes. The classic songs bring back all the nostalgia from the original movie and the performances are solid and insightful. The characters are given more back story which leaves with a better understanding of their situations and makes viewers all the happier when the spell holding some of them prisoner is broken.

Dir: Bill Condon

Starring: Dan Stevens, Emma Watson, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline

rating: 8

author picture Helen (94 posts)
I'm a 32 year old from Leeds in England. I watch a lot of films and like writing about them.

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