Beauty and the Beast remain safe and secure within its Disney-defined dimensions; its infantile proclamations about a gay character and mixed race couples even further underlining what goes for risk-taking in that world. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens have all the tools they need to recreate the love story of Belle and Prince Adam but what they are missing is a touch of magic.
Beauty And The Beast Movie Review
At the outset, Beauty and the Beast might remind you of Cinderella, another live action adaptation of an old Disney classic, but the parity is pointless as Beauty and the Beast moves on to reveal a stunning musical treat for your eyes, ears and heart.
Sure, the 1991 Oscar-nominated animated film works as a skeleton, but the pasts of the characters—introduced in this version—add flesh and the music blood and the rich sets, gorgeous costumes and the grand production form the flawless skin, binding everything together and bringing to life the classic fairy tale.
Tale as old as time, true as it can be. You know the song, you know the rest. The live-action remake of Disney’s 1991 animated classic is a fulsome code to its predecessor, lush in its design, joyous in its execution, solemn in its acting, and soulful in its premise. But is it necessary is the question.
The answer: maybe not. Bill Condon, whose oeuvre ranges from Gods and Monsters and Chicago to the last two Twilights (you know, the one-into-two Breaking Dawns), could have used the opportunity to make something of our obsessions with beasts, and our obsessions with beauties — what better time than now? But Beauty and the Beast remains safe and secure within its Disney-defined dimensions; its infantile proclamations about a gay character and mixed race couples even further underlining what goes for risk-taking in that world.
However, since the brief is to channel the nostalgia of a celebrated true love — that eventually does have a beautiful girl called Belle on one side and a Prince with a huge castle on the other — Condon can be considered a success.
The film differs from the 1991 version in not just giving Belle (Emma Watson) a love of books (sigh!) but also seeing her try use the knowledge to fashion a washing machine of sorts and to teach village children. Which only confirms the suspicions of Belle’s “provincial village” that she is a “peculiar girl”. Gaston is a cad in that village of the worst sort possible, and in his pursuit of Belle, Luke Evans lends the character hilarious and remarkably believable pompousness.