“A remake in the truest sense of the word.”
In recent times Disney has decided that it is time to remake all of their classic animated films, and now they have set themselves the massive task of attempting to remake one of their most iconic animated movies, Beauty and the Beast. Not only is Beauty and the Beast a Disney icon, it was also the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture back in 1991 (losing to Silence of the Lambs). This movie is a remake in the truest sense of the word. Whilst there are additional songs, a handful of new scenes and a few more details that are explored, Beauty and the Beast is almost a shot for shot remake of the classic animated movie. This is not a problem though, as like The Jungle Book it is great to see a live action version of a classic movie. Whether this was a reimaging or a remake it is not possible to please everyone but if you are a fan of the original you will love this movie. The songs are fantastic, the actors are great, there is incredible humour and some of the questions raised in the animated movie even get answered in this version.
For those of you who have not seen the original movie, Beauty and the Beast is the story of a young Prince who is cursed to look like a beast and live in an enchanted castle where he must remain until he can find love. One day a young woman, Belle, who is taken prisoner by the Beast in a story about learning to love people for who they are not what they are. It sounds like a typical Disney movie but there is so much heart and great songs that it will, as the millennials say, ‘hit you in the feels’.
Beauty and the Beast was incredibly well cast, with people who do an amazing job bringing these characters to life. Emma Watson perfectly fits the mould of a modern Disney heroine who is helping move past the time where women were just damsels in distress, yet offering the care and compassion that is synonymous with Belle. She has a fantastic voice that should not be compared to Paige O’Hara because both women bring something different to the role. Josh Gad may have been one of the best actors in the movie as Le Fou who brilliantly brings something new to the role whilst remaining true to the character. He is extremely creepy with his adoration towards Gaston (Luke Evans) and is fantastic in displaying his love for the man. Speaking of Gaston, Luke Evans is an incredible villain for this movie. He has played the bad guy before where he has used a chilling and calm attitude but this was a whole new level, he carries the arrogance and psychopathic nature of Gaston perfectly in a way that also shows respect to the animated character.
The main flaw I found with Beauty and the Beast was some of the camera work, which I acknowledge is hard to talk about, given the amount of CGI there is in this movie. At several points throughout the film there are tracking and panning shots that move too quickly taking the movie out of focus, with one occasion actually being hard to watch. It was during some of the landscape shots or tracking shots around the castle that it became noticeable. This might sound like a major flaw but it does not detract or ruin the movie. In fact the CGI is really impressive since the majority of it is bringing to life the household objects and making them move, dance and fight.
The biggest complaint most people have in regards to this movie is the similarity between this version and the 1991 animated movie. If you go in knowing that this is almost an exact remake it will not bother you at all, but if you expect to see some drastic reimagining then you may be disappointed. Go in and see how Director Bill Condon brings to life this animated classic by showing respect to those who came before and you will not be disappointed. I really enjoyed this version of Beauty and the Beast and it makes me hopeful for the future endeavours of Disney to bring to life their animated classic movies by adding a modern point of view to them.
Beauty and the Beast scored a 80%
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