Beauty and the Beast finally opened in cinemas nationwide on the 30th March after a series of (unnecessary) drama. Either way, the film combined that longing nostalgic feeling with a modern point of view in delivering a great movie.
For those of you who have probably been living under a rock, Beauty and the Beast basically tells the same story as the 1991 animated classic, albeit more character and story development that I felt tied the story up nicely. Spoilers are abundant ahead, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Following the animation, 2017’s Beauty and the Beast sees Belle (Emma Watson) locked away in a castle by a brutish prince turned beast (Dan Stevens) in a castle filled with talking objects who were once servants.
And like the animation, all of the castle’s residents were put under a spell that only Belle can break by falling in love with the Beast, which she’ll come to terms with after.
I absolutely loved how the live action adaptation brought so much more to the table with new story plots, songs and even characters. In the live-action version, viewers are also enlightened on why Belle’s mother is absent in a historically accurate manner (the black plague in Paris mid 1400s) rather than sweeping the matter under the rug.
The costumes were, needless to say, dazzling. Though Belle’s famous yellow gown may not have lived up to expectations, it still brought back fond nostalgic memories. Watson, though not a flawless Belle, carried the role pretty well and you can definitely see sparks of herself through the character in the film.
And let me just say that the castle left me breathless. It was more beautiful and intricate than I could have hoped for and I daresay that it puts the original castle to shame. The exterior is dark and mysterious but as Maurice enters the castle, you’d start to notice the intricate detailing and how the objects really make the castle feel alive.
The 1991 soundtrack was produced by Alan Menken, and I’m glad that he had a hand in producing the live action adaptation’s soundtrack as well. All the classic tracks from the animation that we know by heart (okay, maybe it’s just me) are featured in the film, plus some new tracks that were definitely welcomed.
Watson to me was just okay as a singer while Gaston’s (Luke Evans) song was perfectly portrayed and ‘Be Our Guest’ by Lumiere (Ewan McGregor) was definitely the star of the show with dancing table wares and objects that lit up the screen. The Beast gets his own song too, ‘Evermore’ was a lovely addition to the story and gave the audience an insight to the Beast’s softer side.
Wondering how major the “gay character” was? I can assure you that Le Fou (Josh Gad) isn’t openly gay, though there are subtle hints that suggest he is. That said, there are other characters alongside Le Fou that insinuate they could be gay. However, I do think the subtle hints were done tastefully and it was enough to not upset a conservative crowd or younger audiences.
Also, Le Fou’s “exclusively gay moment” was exclusively 3-5 seconds long. Not a big deal, really, but it’s nice that Disney is starting to introduce diversification of characters in this manner.
All in all, I’d say that Beauty and the Beast is the perfect movie to watch if you fell in love with the original animated film 26 years ago. If you haven’t watched the animated version, the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast has everything you need to be up to speed.
Bill Condon definitely breathed a new life in to this tale as old as time. There are delights aplenty in store in this lavish spectacle that will have you humming tunes even after the credits roll. But don’t take my word for it, be my guest and catch the magic in theaters while you still can.
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