Beauty and the Beast is the latest popular Disney film to be made into a live-action film. Emma Watson stars as Belle, the odd but easy-going girl in a small French village. Dan Stevens plays The Beast, a former prince who’s curse requires him to find true love or remain a beast forever alone in his castle. Those who live in the castle with him are also cursed to live their lives as houseware items and depend on the beast to find someone to break the curse. Along comes Belle and a new hope arises that she’s the one they’ve been waiting for.
There are a lot of great things to say about this film. Most impressive is how well done characters like the Beast, Lumière, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and Chip are done. Not everything done in animated movies translates well to a real-world setting, but those characters are given faces that make those characters seem realistic. Also impressive was the costume and set designs, which mostly accurately copied the sets and costumes in the animated version.
There are some changes to the story, however, the film retains the essence that made viewers fall in love with its animated counterpart. For instance, some of the differences between this version and the animated version include a backstory on Belle and the Beast. We learn how the Beast came to be so cruel towards other people. There are also scenes between Belle and the Beast that give their relationship more depth than the original movie. Another change shows the ongoing consequences of the Beast’s curse. With each rose petal that falls, the castle deteriorates and its inhabitants become more like the antiques they’re occupying. For instance, Plumette (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the feather duster, grows a few extra feathers each time a rose petal falls.
One of the reservations I had before seeing the film was Emma Watson’s casting as Belle. Watson is a good actress; however, I wasn’t sure if she’d be able to bring the character to life as I’d hoped. There’s a certain way Watson emotes in her roles that I couldn’t associate with Belle. But, I enjoyed her portrayal and her singing voice as well. She does well, but her character is more enjoyable when the supporting cast surrounds her. With that said, she has good chemistry with Dan Stevens, the actor who plays the Beast.
The iconic ballroom scene was underwhelming at first, but by the end of it, it was one of the loveliest scenes in the movie. However, the best scenes in the film were the musical numbers Lumière’s “Be Our Guest” and LeFou’s “Gaston.” Both scenes were fun, enjoyable, and lively. Josh Gad as LeFou, respectively, were the standouts of the movie. Gad shows he has some great singing pipes while bragging about his love for Gaston (Luke Evans) and his ability to be a “man’s man.” He and Luke Evans had amazing chemistry and if the story made Gaston open to dating men, I wouldn’t have minded seeing Gaston and LeFou’s happily ever after. Evans embodied the persona of a man who leads a group of small-minded people to destroy because he’s insecure about his manhood and hates others because they’re different.
A couple of shots in the movie may make viewers feel like this movie was meant for 3D. Personally, they made my eyes hurt as if I were watching a 3D film. Overall, this is an enjoyable movie that both older and newer fans will enjoy. The supporting cast is helmed by great actors and actresses such as Kevin Kline as Maurice, Ewan McGregor as Lumière, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts and Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe. All of them brought those lovable characters to life and because of them, this film gets a high score.
Note: This movie has the most beautiful and unique end credits I’ve ever seen.
[easyreview title= "Review of Beauty and the Beast" cat1title="T'ara's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="4.5" overall= false]