Wait, is this a musical? This is how detached I am with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I watched the animation once, maybe twice, when I was younger but couldn’t remember much. So, no moment is better than now to watch the re-interpretation of Disney’s classic animated movie. Read ahead what are the pros and cons I found in Beauty and the Beast!
Note: There is an obvious spoiler below, so if you haven’t seen 2017 Beauty and the Beast, come back next time 😉
Visual & Design
As a tale as old as time, fairy tale live-action movies depend so much on modern technology. Be it special effect, production and visual design. And in the 2017 Beauty and the Beast, all three of them come to play splendidly.
As the movie starts we found Belle at the country-side in France in which the film set was spectacularly put together while the cinematography captured the small town vibe perfectly. It then follows to the scene inside Beast’s Gothic castle, which toppled the previous Disney’s Cinderella (2015) visual design by mile. I love the castle interior (can I sleep in the library?) and exterior, the colour palettes and even the tedious fight scene in the end where it showed the castle’s gargoyles and turrets. Don’t they all looked like they come out of a fairy tale book? Kudos!
However, one let down from the production aspect is the costume design, which seemed plain and austere when compared to Cinderella’s costumes that have vivid bright colours, style and elements. Belle’s iconic yellow gown stood out, for sure, but when compared to Cinderella’s blue dress… it was a let down.
I am biased to say this but hey! you have your reasons to watch any movie and so do I. The only reason I watched Beauty and the Beast is to see Emma Watson. If you grew up with Harry Potter like I do, chances are you love Emma Watson subconsciously. Her portrayal as the loyal daughter and well-read Belle started out strong but diminished into standard Belle, which is nice and predictable. Now, I didn’t mean predictable in a bad sense, Emma Watson played Belle as she is supposed to be played and that’s enough for me. Just like how Dan Stevans played the Beast as one-dimensional as ever.
What about their chemistry? Sorry to report this, but no chemistry h20 was seen on the screen. I mean the guy is a beast, what chemistry should be there?
Like I mentioned, I was not obsessed with Beauty and the Beast animation. In fact, I couldn’t bothered to re-watch the film. So, watching the modern retelling brings back a different joy. I was able to put together many scenes, which were taken straight out of the animation and enjoyed them in a new light.
The voice actors saved the movie in my opinion. We all love the adorable house furniture and teapots, and the special effects on them were magical. But more importantly the voice casts did a banging job. I was surprised to hear Ewan McGregor with a French accent as Lumiere, or Audra McDonald as the Garderobe, the seemingly fat opera lady (She sizzles!). These stars made the movie enjoyable and worth every penny.
Don’t throw that shoes at me first! I like some musical but when the songs kept coming after 10 minutes (like Les Mis), my head starts throbbing. Was it necessary for Belle to sing the eponymous Belle, why yes. Was it necessary for Gaston to sing (again eponymous) Gaston, of course! Was it necessary for Beauty and the Beast romance climax? Yeah, duh. But what about the rest of them? I would prefer if they stick to acting and just keep it silent.
What was the fiasco about the gay sidekick in a Disney movie? Oh… that was it? World I am disappointed with you!
First of all, the sidekicks a.k.a villain a.k.a Gaston and LeFou stole some scene in the beginning, but dwindled down the gutter in my mind as the movie ends. Luke Evans and Josh Gad are two good actors and they gave their energy for these roles. But, their roles are one-dimensional and continued with the given clichés. I don’t mind the characters, but what’s the point if you are going textbook in playing them? Luke even looks like he was cut-out from the old animation reel.
I appreciate the gay nod at LeFou in the end, but really that’s it? Maybe it’s a Disney movie after all.
And this brings me to my last question. Listen, Disney animations are great and the world will forever be in their debt, but was it necessary to re-boot the beloved movies if you are going to make the EXACT movie? Are you going to play the faithful card and expect me to bear with it when there are ways you can do like giving Snow White a new twist in their live-action movies, or make a spinoff out of Sleeping Beauty in Maleficent.
The problem I have with these so-called remakes is the purpose of it. Should I watch Disney’s reboots just for the sake of paying a visit to my childhood or to gained something out of it? This is a contradictory question, I understand, but something else could and should be done. This is a $160 million-budgeted movie for God sake.
If you are a hardcore fan of the classic animation then I bet you will enjoy the live-action Beauty and the Beast better than I did.
Total Score: 59/100