Beauty and The Beast Review: Spectacular Revival of An Enchanting Tale
Beauty and The Beast in the perfect live-action remake the world has been waiting for.
A still from Beauty and The Beast.
It's always a risk to recreate a classic that has been etched deep into the minds of the audience and the task becomes heftier if the original film is the first animated film ever to have won a Best Film Academy Award. However, after the massive success of live-action remake of The Jungle Book, a confident Disney decided to go for a live-action remake of Beauty and The Beast. In 1991, Disney brought magic on screen with a love-story between a village girl and a beastly prince, that won the hearts all over, in 2017 Disney gave the animated characters flesh, bones and much more.
The film's story is an intriguing love story of a brave and intelligent Belle who finds herself trapped in the regressive mentality of her village and seeks to go on an adventure far and beyond. Situations lead her to meet a cursed prince in a forgotten castle and how her kindness and urge for freedom transforms the beast into a caring soul is what the film is about. Unlike other Disney fairytale, Beauty and The Beast has always been regarded progressive because of its strong-headed female lead who saves a prince from a life-long curse.
Starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast, the film rides high on both the central characters. Emma is flawless as Belle and almost an extension of herself. Belle is fierce, strong-headed and kind. Disney made a smart move to rope in Emma for Belle as there couldn't have been anyone better than Watson to bring in the required changes so effortlessly without really changing the essence of the character. Emma gave a new depth to the 'thinking girl's' princess. The live-action Belle is not only a romantic at heart but an adventurer by her soul. She works alongside her father as an inventor, reads despite the entire village calling her names and hopes to get out of her provincial life. She's a rebel, defying the conventional norms and making her own decisions and choices. Emma Watson imbibes these traits beautifully, making Belle her own. From Watson's attire to her attitude as Belle, everything about her is how a perfect role-model for young ones should be.
Dan Stevens as Beasts has one of the most challenging roles, and he performs beautifully. The back story of the beast and pain and remorse in his eyes makes it easy to connect to the Beast despite his rude behaviour. Luke Evans as Guston is a little underplayed. Guston, known for his vanity, could have had more flair and selfishness, but Evans brought it down a notch, making it a little difficult to relate to him as the villain in the story. One man who completely owns his part is Josh Goad. The friend and close companion of Guston, Gas as LaFou is entertaining. He's sarcastic, funny and his love for Guston can easily be sensed in every scene. Voiceover of the animated objects in the castle has been done by veteran actors like Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson, all are brilliant at their parts and make the castle scenes truly enchanting.
Coming to the treatment of the film, director Bill Condon makes sure that the retelling more progressive and relatable to the new generation. The way characters speak is simpler, Belle and Beast discuss Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the entire sarcastic under-tone of LaFou, and newer additions to classic Belle are some of the notable things. The film also touches upon the topic of homosexuality in the film, where La Fou is openly gay and in one scene a manly hunter is seemed pleased with his feminine dressing done by Madame de Garderobe. However, one might get a little disappointed with the ‘exclusive’, much-hyped blink or you'll miss it 'gay moment'. The makers have also added depth to the story by giving a glimpse of Belle and The Beast's childhood. While Belle finds out about her fearless mother in Paris, the audience gets to know Beast's loss of innocence by his father in the past.
The songs in the film are its soul. Disney composer Alan Menken, who penned songs for the original animation has written three new ballads for the live-action retelling. The film also features unused lyrics from the original that were penned by the late Howard Ashman. You might just come out of the theatre humming Guston or Belle, but its Be Our Guest that enchants you to a different world. Everything in the song is spectacular. Another song sequence that hits the nostalgia bone is the title track, with Belle dancing in her iconic yellow gown with the Beast as the makers take us back in the tale as old as time. The dance sequence is truly magical as it captures the moment both the characters finally fall in love with each other.
Overall, Beauty and The Beast is the perfect live-action remake the world has been waiting for. It's deeper, progressive and visually appealing. The spectacular magical retelling deserves a watch for Emma Watson's ever powerful Belle and Dan Stevens' vulnerable Beast.
Disney does it again, amusing us with its visuals and storytelling while making us nostalgic at the same time. A story as old as time served in an appealing glass of wine.
Also Read: Tweet Review of Beauty and The Beast
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