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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review

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A brown-eyed beauty and a belligerent beast. It’s a story we have all heard and seen before, however, a new live-action version of the animated classic Beauty and the Beast hit theaters March 17, resulting in a booming reception and a nostalgic look back at many adults’ childhoods.

For those unfamiliar with the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast follows a young, bookwormish woman (Belle) in rural France. Although her beauty catches the eye of a self-absorbed man (Gaston), she and her eccentric father are considered considered outcasts by her village.

Once her father doesn’t return from a work trip, Belle takes matters into her own hands and finds her father captured in a cursed castle inhibited by castle workers in the form of extravagant furniture and objects and a prince cursed to be a beast, with the only way to break the curse being the beast finding true love that is reciprocated. After sacrificing herself for her father’s freedom, Belle becomes a prisoner in his castle, but after a few occurrences, the two may find something there that was missing before.

With a diverse cast, Disney was able to recreate the movie staying true to it’s iconic origins. Emma Watson, playing Belle, tested her acting chops with a jab at theatrical singing and an odd romance, and although some auto tune spared some help, Watson did the role of a Disney Princess justice. Dan Stevens, as the Beast, elegantly pulled off the chore of wearing tons of makeup, a body suit and using stilts, and can only be admired for his paid off efforts. Alongside Watson and Stevens, famous actors such as Luke Evans (Gaston), Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), and Ian McKellen (Cogsworth) portrayed some of the more well-known Disney characters.

Directed by Bill Condon, the film is beautifully portrayed thanks to the aesthetically pleasing props and architecture all filmed in England. Meticulous detailing and animation went into the dark castle and the furniture characters, resulting in a visually entertaining work. Some can even say the live action aided the original plot in its complexity.

Speaking of complexity, alongside the original musical pieces are new produced soundtracks by Alan Menken for added depth along the storyline. Famous voices like Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Ariana Grande and John Legend all contribute to the beautiful soundtracks of the film. Without spoiling too much, musical singing pieces were added during climactic scenes of the movie that had gone without these emotional tunes in the 1991 film.

The plot itself follows the storyline very closely, despite the adding of more background on a specific character, that is only there to thicken the plot and fill a certain plot hole. Needless to say, those who loved the original would not be disappointed. Along with the added background, certain aspects of the film were tweaked for the sake of historical accuracy less stereotyping, and less racial separation. Examples of this would be the original three blondes fawning over Gaston being changed to brunette wig wearing women and the integration of black actors in the movie.

In conclusion, the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast pays great homage to the original Disney film while creating its own distinctions to be a film worth watching and a film worth its hype. With beautiful cinematography and all the right technical aspects, it was able to bring back fond memories and shine up past infatuation with the classic. Leaving an unforgettable imprint on this tale as old as time.

Production companies: Mandeville Films, Walt Disney Pictures
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Luke Evans, Ian McKellen, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci
Director: Bill Condon
Screenwriters: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Producers: Todd Lieberman, David Hoberman
Executive producers: Don Hahn, Thomas Schumacher, Jeffrey Silver
Director of photography: Tobias Schliessler
Production designer: Sarah Greenwood
Editor: Virginia Katz
Music: Alan Menken
Casting director: Lucy Bevan
Rated PG, 2h 10m

Side Note: If you liked this movie, you may like:

Phantom of the Opera (2004), Cinderella (2015), La La Land (2016), Maleficent (2014), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Jungle Book (2016)

 

 

 

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