5 Reasons I Enjoyed "Beauty and the Beast" (2017)
I have to confess I didn't really believe that Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens would be a tremendous success. I watched the original animated film as a kid. I liked it but found nothing exceptional. I was not excited to watch the live-action adaptation in the theater despite the teasers all over social media. It was pure boredom on a Sunday afternoon that pushed me to ask the husband to go to the mall and watch whatever we felt like watching when we got there.
Going into the film with no expectations, I went out humming and smiling, satisfied that my time was well-spent. Let me give you 5 reasons why this live-action adaptation is worth your time.
1. It Demonstrated Good Values That We All Can Live By
This is one movie you can confidently bring your children to see and not worry about anything that could corrupt their moral compass.
The film highlighted the love, respect, and strong bond between family members. I loved that Belle openly expressed her love and respect for her father and how her father expressed his desire to always protect Belle. He wanted what was best for her above anything else.
The film showed that being different is not a bad thing. In this day and age, we constantly feel the pressure to conform and be just like everyone else. This movie reminded us that it is okay to be unique, and that we just have to learn to respect each other’s individuality.
The film reminds us not to judge by appearances. The prince learned this lesson the hard way, although this works well for him in the end.
Overall, there are good moral values that we all can live by even as adults.
[singing] I want adventure in the great-wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell... And for once it might be grand to have someone understand, I want so much more than they've got planned!— Belle
2. We Get to Know the Main Characters More Intimately
We only got to know a tad bit about the characters in the animated version. This adaptation plunges a bit deeper and shows more of the intricacies and motivations of the characters.
Belle was an inventor, a bookworm, and a dreamer. She had her own way of doing things which made her different from the other young ladies in the village. Belle’s father was shown as an artist and not just old, crazy Maurice. And Beast, despite his ill temper, had a soft side who actually enjoys romance novels. These simple touches in the story actually made the characters more endearing.
3. Tiny Details That Made a Difference
It is revealed what happened to Belle’s mother and why she was no longer with her family. This side story highlights how much Belle’s parents loved her and how much they sacrificed for her. The film also reveals how the Prince was corrupted and became a wicked person before he ended up being cursed by the enchantress.
Changes were also made on some supporting characters. In the animated version, Chip had brothers and sisters but he is an only child in this film. This makes his reunion with his family a bit more emotional and endearing. The enchantress was also a character throughout the film, observing everything that was going on.
4. Effective Storytelling With the Camera
I have to give a special shout-out to the film crew. Director Bill Condon did a job well done. Though not faultless, they have achieved an amazing accomplishment by bringing one of our favorite Disney princesses to life.
From the very beginning up until the end, the elaborate and intricate details of the sets were astonishing and deserve to be commended. I particularly liked the details and little touches made throughout the village and the Beast’s castle. I enjoyed the effective directing that made sure those little things were not ignored. There were some scenes that could have been presented better but overall, Condon did a great job.
As for the cinematography, I liked how the camera techniques were utilized to convey the emotions and sentiments of the characters. I particularly enjoyed the scene where the Beast was singing and pouring his heart out while watching Belle go farther and farther from him on her way to her father. There was a sequence where the camera effectively conveyed the depth of how broken the Beast felt at that moment.
5. I Fell in Love With the Soundtrack
Like the animated version, this film is a musical. Great music is a basic expectation. The film did not disappoint in this regard. Alan Menken and his team did a great job. The songs were beautifully delivered had me hooked within the first 10-15 minutes of the movie. The songs were engaging, entertaining, and heart-filled. Here are some of my favorites.
When director Bill Condon first spoke to Disney about adapting this film, they actually weren't sure they were going to do this version as a musical. Condon said, "With all due respect, I think you're crazy. The songs are too good. You're going to spend all this time making a huge, gorgeous live-action Beauty and the Beast and not do Be Our Guest?"