'Beauty and the Beast' film review
The live-action remake of Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' has finally arrived. I really loved the 1991 cartoon of this film and I wasn't the only one with high expectations to meet. The original film of 'Beauty and the Beast' was the first ever animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award and it is still one of Disney's most popular animated films to date. The new live-action 'Beauty and the Beast' has already broken five box-office records including the biggest opening weekend of a female-led film ever.
I really enjoyed going to see this film. If you have never seen the animated classic, I'll give you the general rundown of the story. It follows a girl named Belle living in a village in France who is shunned by her fellow villagers because she loves to read. Her father is taken hostage by a Beast and Belle, in an act of self-sacrifice, takes his place and eventually falls in love with the Beast, who is in actuality a prince under a curse. I really liked how, for this version, they expanded the story. There was more background on the prince, Belle's mother and Gaston, the arrogant ex-soldier trying to force Belle to marry him. It filled in some plot holes from the original film and they even added some extra songs, which were excellent; 'Evermore' sung by Dan Stevens - aka the Beast - was particularly good.
The music really accentuates this film's appeal. Emma Watson can hold her own singing Belle's songs and she had a lovely voice. She is Belle. Watson really captured the character of the Disney heroine. Luke Evans, who plays Gaston, is absolutely brilliant and I enjoyed his performance more than in the original version. He really nailed Gaston's self-righteousness and manipulative nature. Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellan and Emma Thompson were all wonderful as Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs Potts respectively who live in the Beast's castle. Their song, 'Be Our Guest', was pure delight. It was a spectacle of epic proportions and it was such a magical moment. The ballroom dance to 'Beauty and the Beast' was just visually incredible, as it was in the original. Everything from Belle's iconic yellow dress to the lighting, the set and the use of colour made it supremely beautiful.
One thing I do also want to touch on is Josh Gad's character Le Fou. There has been lots of talk about this as he is an openly gay character and therefore some conservative countries have kicked up a fuss. It's ridiculous. Le Fou is an absolute treasure with great character development and Josh Gad's performance as him was one of the most likeable of the film. Overall, it's a charming film full of the classic Disney magic that we all know and love. It won't really surprise you, but 'Beauty and the Beast' truly recreates the tale as old as time wonderfully. You'll walk away feeling better about your day and with at least five songs cemented in your head.