Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast
Over the weekend, Disney’s live-action remake of the classic animated tale “Beauty and the Beast” took the box office by storm. It grossed over $170 million dollars in its opening weekend, and it is on track to break the $1 billion (yes, that is billion with a “b”) mark by the end of its theatrical run. I saw it for myself on Friday morning, and it was everything I could have imagined and more. I’ve narrowed my thoughts down to four reasons you need to see it, and one reason you may not want to.
What made me fall in love with the animated tale in 1991, besides the gorgeous colors and enchanting scenery, was the music. Little did I know that when Emma Watson’s Belle began the familiar strains of “Little town, it’s a quiet village….” tears would begin to prick my eyes. Further along in the film, two other separate times saw my emotions rising to the surface, and I wasn’t fully prepared for it. Belle is my second favorite Disney princess, and her story has always resonated with me. The music just adds to the incredible artistry and beauty of this film. Enjoy the new song “Evermore. It’s my favorite addition to the remake.
The Additional Characters
Cadenza was a welcome addition to the cast. Stanley Tucci is one of my favorite actors. He shines, even through a digitally enhanced inanimate object for 3/4 of the movie. Because I want this review to remain spoiler free, I will say that there was an additional character that I did not love and another that I did. They were not completely new characters, but were more fleshed out and given a bit of a backstory. When you see the film, you’ll probably guess what I’m referring to. I’ll be curious to see if you appreciated the one and not the other like I did.
While I missed the bright hues and bold lines only animation can provide, I appreciated the director’s desire for the overall look of the movie. The scenery is incredibly ornate and detailed, right down to the servants in their inanimate forms. I don’t remember the castle details as much in the animated version, but this version will have you wishing you could pause your screening to take it all in.
The Classic Characters
This paragraph could go on and on, so I won’t bog you down with too much you can’t read elsewhere. Suffice it to say, Emma Watson takes viewers there as Belle (and with great emotion and gusto too). Dan Stevens (The Beast/Prince) will make you fall in love with him, even before he changes back into a prince. Luke Evans (Gaston) and Josh Gad (LeFou) are perfectly cast. To me, they were the delight of the movie as their obvious chemistry and on-set friendship bled over into the film itself. As for that controversial “moment” everyone is talking about? Hardly controversial if you ask me. The cut away from the moment is so quick, I might have missed it if I didn’t know what I was looking for.
Why You Might Not Want to See It
If you are not a fan of classic Disney films, you might not want to go see this movie. Tired of all the remakes? “Beauty and the Beast” may not be for you. If you’re not into sing-a-longs and rooting for good over evil, then “Beauty and the Beast” will be a disappointment. This movie feels familiar in all the right ways. The joyfulness and fun of the animated movie is all there with important additions and elevations to the story that keep it from feeling stale. If you wanted a totally new story that did not give a nod to the original at all, then you’ll definitely want to steer clear of all the nostalgia streaming from the theaters screening this movie.While many of you reading this have probably already seen the film, I hope that those of you who’ve been on the fence will reconsider your movie going plans this weekend. For another viewpoint on the movie, check out these reviews from my friends!
“Beauty and the Beast” is now playing in theaters everywhere!