- Original Title: Beauty and the Beast
- Year: 2017
- Director: Bill Condon
- Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos
- Screenplay based on: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and the French fairy tale La Belle et la Bête by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (rewritten and first published by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont)
- Cast: Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (the Prince / the Beast), Luke Evans (Gaston), Kevin Klein (Maurice), Josh Gad (LeFou), Ewan McGregor (Lumière), Stanley Tucci (Maestro Cadenza), Audra McDonald (Madame de Garderobe), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Plumette), Sir Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts)
Belle is a young bookworm girl who lives with his father, Maurice, in a small and boring village, living her life in search of excitement and refusing the constant proposals of Gaston, who is determined to marry her whatsoever. One day Belle rescues his father, who has been taken prisoner by a Beast in an enchanted castle, and she willingly accepts to take his place. Despite fearing and despising the Beast at first, she starts seeing his inner kindness and at the same time he starts opening her heart to her. Could she be the one to break the spell and turn the Beast back into a Prince?
I couldn’t have chosen a better movie for my first review on the blog! I have been dying to see this film since the cast was announced almost two years ago and I have been watching all the spoilers on YouTube with the enthusiasm of a kid, also because Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favourite Disney pictures. So, be my guest!
I loved this movie from start to finish and I think that everything was perfect: the actors, the costumes, the plot twists which differ from the original Disney version, the set, etc. The movie is extremely enjoyable and it will certainly bring back your childhood memories if you, just like me, were just a kid when it hit theatres back in 1991.
Emma Watson as Belle steals the scene, proving that she was most definitely the right choice for the role. She adds to the character so much more depth, making her a modern role model for young girls. Her Belle is strong, intelligent, warm-hearted and kind and without any doubt this is Ms. Watson’s finest performance so far, where she truly transforms into Belle and leaves ‘herself’ behind. I am no music expert, but I’ve found her voice extremely pleasant to hear and her rendition of both ‘Belle’ and ‘Something There’ are pure bliss for the ears. It’s great to see the different emotions that she portrays while gradually getting to know the Beast, from fear to disdain, from compassion to love.
Dan Stevens is a terrific Beast and I have to admit that the scenes where I got more emotional were with him, like when Mrs. Pots tells Belle about his mother’s death or almost at the end when he lets her go to see her father. I have to admit that the CGI effects at the beginning and also in some scenes, like the ones when he is dining at the table, were a little bit disturbing and seemed quite fake, but Stevens’ brilliant acting and ‘eye’ expression made it all forget.
Luke Evans is Gaston, full stop. He fits so perfectly in the role, he is everything that a modern and independent woman would despise, being arrogant, self-absorbed and ignorant. It’s interesting, though, that also his character has been given a small background story that makes you understand even more his behaviour.
All the remaining characters are as good as the original: Ewan McGregor is the perfect master of castle with his magical and vibrant ‘Be Our Guest’, which reminded me so much of the colourful scenes of Moulin Rouge!. And chapeau to his French accent mon ami, which to my understanding has caused him few problems during the shooting. Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson complete the castle staff with their exquisite performances, very warm and wise.
Bill Condon and the rest of his team have done an incredible job in bringing to life one of the best and most beloved Disney movies and, in doing so, they managed to add more to the story itself, without ruining too much the original. Even the new characters bring a breath of fresh air and add pathos to the musical scenes. The same applies to the new plot twists which fits perfectly in the story telling and again add more meaning to the background stories.
A very enjoyable and magical movie that will please everyone, grown ups and kids. Highly recommended 😉 It has already broken box office records over the weekend with $170 millions in North America and £18.4 million in the UK! Beastly record, that is!
- Overall Rating: 10/10
- Recommended for: a lovely family afternoon or simply if you wish to be a kid again, by enjoying two hours of magic and love.
All pictures credit: Disney