Photo Courtesy of ScreenRant.com
Story by Tayhlor Stephenson / Staff Writer
Want to find out more on the newly released Beauty and the Beast? Well be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test.
In a remake of the classic 1991 tale, Disney delivered a sense of magic that couldn’t possibly be found anywhere else. In fact, the first bit of magic was the casting of Emma Watson as Belle. With a standout performance, Watson welcomed herself into the viewers’ hearts and possibly even earned herself award consideration.
Although magical, the film seemed to be lacking a hefty amount of detail. The cast and characters showcased remarkable talent, but the film, directed by Bill Condon, lacked depth. Sure, there was some added background information (the Beast’s past and the passing of Belle’s mother) that helped shape the film, but it needed to go deeper. Why was the passing of the Beast’s mother never related to the passing of Belle’s mother? The opportunity was there, but they let it pass them by.
And speaking of the Beast, his CGI appearance was often too dramatized. While the actor, Dan Stevens, played an exceptional role, the Beast itself was awkward.
Also, the movie stayed so true to the original storyline that it was easy to catch yourself bored with the predictability of the film.
The beginning scene with the village people gathering to sing “Belle” contained great choreography, sound and a special sense of excitement for the remaining scenes of the story. A high expectation was set with no follow-through.
The next highly anticipated scene, and most people’s favorite, was yet another letdown. In an attempt to dazzle Belle with a home-cooked, three-course meal, Lumiere sings “Be Our Guest,” but the scene merely staggered as an attempt. Although the characters (Lumiere, Maestro Cadenza, and Mrs. Potts) were intended to be somewhat rusty of their hospitality and showiness, the scene proved to be majorly busy and, overall, an unorganized mess.
Finally, midway through the 2-hour and 10-minute film, the audience was taken down a path of new
material which included Gaston, Belle’s macho admirer, tying Maurice, Belle’s father, to a tree, leaving him for the wolves because of his disapproval. Of course, Maurice was saved by the sorcerer Agathe. The 2017 version also provided Belle and the Beast with some common ground: reading and a love for Shakespeare. Yes, all of the original songs are sang in the film, but viewers were also introduced to some new tunes, too. Belle’s “How Does A Moment Last Forever” takes place in the context of Belle and the Beast using the enchanted map to transport themselves to Belle’s Paris hometown. More background info was supplied in this scene, and for good reason. The Beast even got his own solo with “Evermore,” and it’s all about his falling for Belle.
The “new” leaves us just as fast as it finds us, though. The climax was almost identical to the original film with the village people’s attempt to kill the Beast, although the scene was highly enjoyable thanks to “The Mob Song.” Next was the inevitable death of Gaston, which was the same death from the 1991 film. And, of course, Belle found her happy ending by saving the Beast and his friends from a permanent inanimate future.
Even though much remained the same between the two films, there was one majorly talked-about alteration to the current film: the casting of Disney’s first-ever gay character. LeFou, played by Disney favorite Josh Gad, made history with his unique role of obsessing over Luke Evans’ character, Gaston. The romance, though, seemed to be more of a bromance than anything. Another ground-breaking casting decision was the multiple interracial couples within the movie. Disney may have just been introducing its audience to the future of film, if anything.
Overall, the movie is one to see, as is any other Disney production, but it’s not a must-see. As long-awaited as this movie was, it needed more detail, excitement and something to wow the audience.