Beauty And The Beast PG
In a cinema near you:
After acting selfishly and turning away an old woman who turns out to be an enchantress, a Prince (Dan Stevens) is turned into a beast while his castle and all those who work there are put under an enchantment. Years later, we meet Belle (Emma Watson), who lives in a countryside town near the castle but feels unfulfilled as well as excluded by those who live there. She comes to be the Beast’s prisoner and his servants hope that if the Beast falls in love with her, and she with him, then the spell they are under will be broken.
I think we can all admit that so far, the Disney live-action remakes have had pretty mixed results. While The Jungle book really brought new life to the original and lent itself well to a CGI look, Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella was a beautiful but boring and lifeless remake. Beauty & the Beast is a childhood classic for many and not only does it have to stay loyal to the original, it also has to bring enough new elements to the table to justify it being remade at all. After all, the 1991 animated movie is undoubtedly one of the best films Disney ever made, and it remains the only 2D animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
My own greatest fear going into the remake was that it was going to be shot-for-shot the same as the original, particularly given that pretty much all of the teasers and trailers so far have included the exact same visuals and dialogue as the animated original.
As would be expected, the main frame of the original is still present. A good chunk of the dialogue is the same, as are the story and the characters. In any case, that is what audiences came for. New additions (the movie has gone from 84 mins in running time to 2 hours 9 mins) include more background on the Prince’s life before the enchantment and about Belle’s parents, in particular on her deceased mother. While you can see such additions are trying to add depth to the story, they never really feel necessary.
Putting the plot to the side, what Beauty and the Beast absolutely does need to get right is the music. There are mixed results here too. For one, Emma Watson cannot sing. There is no range and no quality to her voice and, try as they may, digital enhancements do not hide that fact. Fortunately, Emma isn’t the only one singing here and the film’s stand-out numbers, ‘Gaston’ and ‘Be Our Guest’, don't include her singing at all. Luke Evans is fantastic as Gaston and his titular number is full of energy and hugely entertaining; plus Evans and Josh Gad as LeFou are supported by a great ensemble.
Most of the actors perform as expected. Emma Watson is really just playing herself and the other actors – which to name but a few include Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, and Stanley Tucci – deliver on being the talented bunch they are. The most confusing character of the bunch is LeFou who seems to have a different personality and drive in each scene. It is this reviewer’s opinion that this isn’t so much down to him being a character who is sexually confused as to Gad being poorly directed by Bill Condon, who clearly wants to do a lot with this character but doesn’t quite made his mind up about exactly who LeFou is in the end. Those who have been following media updates on the film will no doubt know how his character is meant to be ‘gay’ and have a ‘gay moment’, but those anticipating these 'Disney firsts' will be sorely disappointed.
Another disappointment is the song ‘Beauty and the Beast’ which Emma Thompson delivers in this distracting accent that ruins the moment and just doesn’t deliver the finesse that Angela Lansbury’s previous rendition has. At the same time, the new songs that have been added to the score not only blend well in with the original tracks, thanks to composers Alan Menken and Tim Rice, they also bring an emotional quality to their respective scenes.
The movie is certainly flawed and its problems also include plot holes such as why Belle forgets about her father once she’s in the castle, and why do the villagers believe Maurice so vehemently one minute and not the next. At the same time, Beauty and the Beast is such a touching story, and it is acted here with such love and looks so beautiful, that even the most devoted of cynics won't be able to help but be swept up by the magic and romanticism of it all.
Review by Deirdre Molumby | 16:32 | Friday 10th March 2017 | Movie Review
awesome!Posted 18:14 | Sun 12th Mar 2017
I don't know what the writer is saying but I found this movie absolutely awesome, fantastic. I am a huge fan of the original Beauty and the Beast, it is one of my favourite Disney ones if not the favourite one. So I was sceptical really. As well as I am not a huge fan of Emma Watson and personally find her really boring. Not a strong actress. So she is the most transparent character in the movie in my opinion. But then the movie is a fairy tale, does it have to be strong? The singing was nice, thats enough for a movie like that I feel. Blown away I was by Gaston, great acting by a strong character. But I must say I was drawn from minute one to the end. All in all I found it a very captivating movie, great music, catchy so I was tempted to jump up and clap for example after Gastons song or Be my guest. Very happy and definitely a great remake!Posted 22:13 | Sat 18th Mar 2017
When I was younger I never had much interest in the original animated film. I only saw bits and pieces because of all the Oscar talk and never quiet took to it. My wife and I carried our kids to see this remake and I was prepared to go for a snooze while the kids watched it. We got there early and were firstly surprised to find the cinema so busy. Secondly we were surprised to hear from the person serving us at the counter in the cinema that there were only a few seats left for this movie. There were a lot of people behind us who had to wait till the next showings. The girl serving us also told us it has been crazy busy since it was released. She said it was sold out for every showing.( there was a couples showings on each hour to try and meet demand). I thought to myself this must be another one of these over the top "mania" films which are hyped and hyped no end and are good but not that good. Despite my doubts it caught my attention from the start. My son was enjoying it so much he was bursting for a pee and ended up running to and from the toilet in order not to miss it (the film that is) It turned out to be one of the best films I have ever seen. My wife and kids all thought it was one of the best they had seen as well.:We were well and truly blown away by it. While exiting the cinema all i kept hearing was a chorus of the same being said by everyone else. We were very curious to read what the actual critic's reviews were like as we were surprised we had not heard more about this prior to seeing it. We were very surprised that the average rankings were between only 3 & 4 out of 5 with some giving it 2 (the guardian -no surprise). I have never given a review in my life but I thought if any film did it was this. It thoroughly deserved being given 5 out of 5. Some reviewers were going on about the way it made a poor attempt at trying to protray women in a more positive light compared to the original. (some were giving out that if a beautiful woman is just a little nice to a beastly man she will succumb to them). I think it could be looked at a number of different ways depending on the way you look at things. My wife argued that people were missing the entire point of the film, which is portraying that love is not skin deep...it is a romantic fairytale story and stop trying nit pick it or over complicate it into something that it is not. It would be shame for anybody to miss this film.Posted 22:01 | Sun 19th Mar 2017
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