It’s a tale as old as time, but is everything what it seems?
As I’m writing this its March 17th 2017 and across the UK Disney fans and film fans are going in their masses to watch Disney’s latest film offering, a live action remake of Beauty and the Beast.
Now I don’t need to go into huge details about the plot as I’m pretty sure if you’ve stumbled across this corner of the internet, you’ve seen the original, but just to recap, thankless ungrateful rude prince gets cursed and turned into a beast, his servants are turned into household objects. He has an enchanted rose which is wilting and losing petals, when the last petal falls the prince will stay a beast forever, unless he can learn to love someone who loves him in return.
So I guess you’re all asking whats different in this version, first we should note that Lumiere and the gang all have new looks and I’ll be honest, Mrs Potts in particular still hasn’t grown on me, I do think they fit their surroundings beautifully, but shes just creepy! However Lumiere and Cogsworth’s looks have really grown on me and I loved how they looked in the film!
The soundtrack has some new songs too, now I must be in the minority here because I didn’t listen to any of the sound track before I saw the film and I’m really glad I didn’t now, the new tracks are brilliant and feel like they could be classics already, beast even gets a song of his own and it really helps to build his character and make him more likeable.
From the original soundtrack my favourite song and accompanying scene is probably be our guest, and I can honestly say the new version did not disappoint at all. It was every bit as much of a magnificent and magical spectacle as its animated counterpart. I honestly couldn’t take my eyes off it, it was truly enchanting and a total highlight of the film for me.
Beast and Belle also have their own new looks, and I’m a huge fan of beast’s new suit, it’s really stylish and not over the top, it’s probably my favourite costume of the film. I wasn’t a fan of Belle’s new village dress, but I did like her gold ball gown, she also has a wedding dress now, which is white with flowers, and though it’s not something I would ever wear myself in a million years, it fitted the scene perfectly and look elegant and effortless, which lets be honest, is ultimate princess goals!
With live action remakes, I always worry about any plot changes they make, and my pet hate is unnecessary ones that don’t add anything to the story (point in case, Maleficent, why is Aurora’s dress gold now? It doesn’t enhance the story in any way so why change it?) but I need not worry. Of course there have been some plot changes or additions, but I felt it was done well, and added to the existing story and characters beautifully. Especially in the case of Belle and Beast, in the earlier stages of their blossoming love, some additions to the plot bring them closer and really soften Beast’s character to win the audience over.
The only plot change I felt a little disappointed with was LeFou’s “gay moment”, after all the hype from the media I guess I was expecting something a little more prominent than the literal fleeting moment we got, but most importantly, it was done tastefully and is a step in the right direction. I also like the extra attention to building LeFou’s character throughout the film and giving him more substance than his animated namesake. Josh Gad played the role wonderfully, with a perfect mix of comedy and heart felt moments, though I must admit I couldn’t help but think of Olaf when he spoke!
Over all, I really enjoyed this movie, I was really sceptical about Emma Watson taking on the role of Belle, and though I’m still not entirely sure she was the best choice for this role, she annoyed me a lot less than I thought she would, and I was really pleased with how well it worked, Dan Stevens as the beast was wonderful, the character was well played and really brought a lot of emotion to the film. Out of the whole cast I must say Luke Evans as Gaston was really a stand out for me, he was every bit the way I envision Gaston’s character to be and was a pleasure to watch. I enjoyed the new musical numbers, and more than that I loved what they did with the original score.
If you are a fan of the original film I honestly believe you have nothing to worry about with this remake, it’s a beautiful and respectful retelling of a story we know and love, the attention to detail with the castle and it’s decor is phenomenal and I was really impressed with how well they recreated the scenes to replicate the animated ones so closely, the film really is a visual masterpiece.
And if you’re not a huge Beauty and the Beast fan, who knows, maybe there’s something there that wasn’t there before?
Photos taken from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast site.