It’s my second favourite animated Disney movie of all time (because nothing beats The Lion King and that’s an undisputed fact), therefore I’m sure you can understand that since learning of the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast I’ve been beyond excited. It finally opened in cinemas last week and I was first in the door (yes, small child in row F, I did beat you up the stairs) So while I won’t give a proper review, I will muse a little…
- Belle is a princess for our generation. And by ‘our’, I mean any woman or girl living in today’s world, no matter what age. Still the bookworm of the original film, she’s also intuitive and independent, able to look after herself and keen to empower younger girls to do the same. She thwarts unwanted advances with the disdain they deserve and seems to know her worth – a Disney role model, for sure.
- It’s laugh out loud funny. The humour is mature, often subtle and at times quite dry which is right up my street. Gaston, played ingeniously by Luke Evans, is the main source, even when flanked by regular funny man Josh Gad. For Gaston to be so comedic while still remaining such a formidable figure is really impressive.
- While we’re talking of stellar performances, in my opinion the whole thing is cast perfectly and I won’t hear otherwise. The choice of Emma Watson for Belle divided fans but I think she’s absolutely charming in the role, and while her singing voice isn’t the strongest it adds to the realism of the character. Dan Stevens as the Beast is stubborn and gruff and sexy (c’mon, you’re all thinking it), but most importantly he has the required vulnerability to make him likeable.
- The animation is wonderful but at times over the top. The CGI house staff cum antique objects blend seamlessly into the live action environment, but at times (particularly during the rendition of Be Our Guest) it can lean a little cartoonish.
- The whole thing has far fewer Stockholm Syndrome vibes, which is the one thing that made the original slightly problematic. Yes, Belle is held prisoner by a man who traded her father’s freedom for hers, but she wastes no time in telling him to shove it and orchestrating her escape. The majority of the film actually takes place when she is in the Beast’s company of her own volition, and it’s only then that their relationship begins to blossom.
Like I said, this post wasn’t exactly a proper review, but if you were wondering…