It is a tale as old as time and Disney have dragged it into the real world with this new live action remake. Disney feels that we need to see Beauty and the Beast again because they would like to make millions of pounds, how sweet of them. Just in case you don’t know this film is a timeless tale of a heartless cursed prince who must fall in love to break the curse and save the village.
Director- Bill Condon
Cast- Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ewan Macgregor, Ian McKellen, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson and Kevin Kline
Beauty and the Beast holds a special place in my heart as I had to watch the original on repeat for weeks in preparation for my school’s musical where I played the Beast, so I know the film back to front and I loved every viewing of this Best Picture Nominated film. But did the remake keep the heart and soul of the original while adding the live action magic The Jungle Book did last year? In short no. It was one hell of a challenge Disney set themselves but to be honest I don’t think they even tried to better the original as you sit through auto-tuned musical number after auto-tuned musical number it get’s tougher and tougher to enjoy one of my all time favourite princess films.
Disney did bring on board some phenomenal acting talent to disguise their lack of real effort. Overall Disney nailed it as they always do on the casting side of things. Emma Watson is perfect casting for Belle, she looks, sounds, and holds similar values to that of Belle, but I was expecting that when Disney cast her. The suprises lie with the film’s antagonists Lefou and Gaston, who are faultlessly brought to life by Josh Gad and Luke Evans. The pairing of those two actors was a bizarre one on paper but the chemistry they had on screen was magic and thoroughly enjoyable. I could go on about this ensemble for hours however I won’t as I imagine you have things to do, I don’t but you probably do. Dan Stevens as the beast has to be mentioned though as he is the heart of this film for me, even behind all that CGI hair he still gripped my heart, mainly due to his tear-jerking solo, Evermore which comes at a pivotal moment in the film, leaving me thinking we might have our first Oscar nominee for 2018 with a show-stopping original song.
My previous comment on auto-tuned musical numbers is contradicted by two songs, Evermore and Gaston which is my favourite part of the film hands down just a really great musical number with fantastic choreography. But these two songs can’t make up for the bitter taste left in my mouth after phenomenal Disney classics like Belle and Be Our Guest are spoiled by CGI fodder and repeated toying with vocals. This issue is minor compared to Disney’s choice to add in Belle’s mother’s death! Yep, you heard me right slight spoiler here, Belle and the Beast go back in time to see what happened to Belle’s Mum discovering she was killed by the plague. For those of you that don’t know, this scene does not appear in the original and is a real bummer at the end of the second act while you’re heart is meant to be touched by the protagonist’s growing romance. It stunted the flow of the film and left a black mark on a very enjoyable picture.
Overall my love for the original overpowered my hatred for some of the silly choices Disney made and it won me over. I enjoyed Beauty and the Beast but it does have some glaring problems, no amount of phenomenal actors voicing furniture can fix. I just want to let Disney know that if they treat Mulan, the best princess with the same lack of interest and care they will receive a very angry letter from me, which they will happily throw away, you’ve been warned.
Mouthwash: Mouthwash for this film is simple, go watch the extended cut of the original which features one of my favourite Beauty and the Beast songs, Human Again. It’s perfect in every way, don’t take my word for it, it was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar!