Beauty and the Beast (2017) Review: A Tale as Old as Time Recreated Once Again
Disney has been on a good streak with their live action remakes. It had a slow start with Alice in Wonderland, but the Jungle book was a great movie. Luckily, Disney has hit another home run with their most recent remake.
Beauty and the Beast is a story that everybody knows. Guy gets cursed and turned into a beast, girl meets beast, and, spoiler alert, they fall in love to break the curse. This is a remake of the Disney animated classic from 1991 which was the first animated film to be nominated for best picture. The film featured classic characters such as Belle, Beast, Lumiere, and Gaston. It also featured some of the greatest songs that Disney has to offer. This new film recreates these classic characters and songs in real life.
The cast in this movie is fantastic. Emma Watson takes on the main role of Belle and I think she does a good job. She definitely captures the emotions of the original Belle and brings it to the live action character. Her singing did sound a bit auto tuned but it never took me out of the movie. Dan Stevens does a great job as the Beast. He adds a lot more character to this beast that I thought wasn't in the original. The beast is a lot less angry in this movie and a bit more sophisticated.
Luke Evans as Gaston steals the movie in every scene that he is in. He has so much charisma but he is also so much a narcissistic brat. He's a lot more evil in this movie. Josh Gad plays Gaston's sidekick, Lefou, and he does a really good job. He is very funny and his character is a lot more interesting than he was in the original. To address the controversy about his character, he is gay, but it is barely addressed in the movie. People honestly might not even notice it. I also liked Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle's dad. The relationship between him and Belle is a lot stronger in this movie and they actually address what happened to Belle's mom which is a mystery in the animated movie.
The castle staff is also fantastic. I really liked both Ewan Mcgregor as Lumiere and Ian Mckellen as Cogsworth. They had great chemistry together and both were a lot of fun. Emma Thompson was also great as Mrs. Potts. Her character was very friendly and comforting towards Belle.
I think the relationship between Belle and the beast is pretty good in this movie. The chemistry between Watson and Stevens is strong in the movie. It is pretty convincing throughout the movie.
One thing that this movie needed to do well is the songs and they nailed it. All the original songs such as "Beauty and the Beast," "Gaston," and "Be Our Guest" are done really well in the movie. I think the best sequences are probably "Gaston" and "Be our Guest." The film also features some new songs, however, they are pretty forgettable, all except for the song "Evermore," which the Beast sings.
New Elements from the Original
The new material in this movie is somewhat hit or miss. I like all the new things that they added with Gaston and Lefou and the relationship between Belle and her mother. They do try to add more into the story with the Enchantress that cursed Beast, but it wasn't really well explained.
The visuals in this movie are amazing. The set pieces are amazing and every shot is visually appealing. The CGI is pretty strong for the most part. The director Bill Condon did a great job bringing this world to life. However, I think the pacing of the movie could have been better. There are a lot of details that feel rushed over and could have been slowed down a little bit. It just goes a bit too quickly sometimes.
Disney definitely has another hit with this movie. It recaptures the spirit of the original without completely copying it. While I do still have concerns about the upcoming Lion King remake, Disney is currently doing a great job with creating these stories for a new generation.