Beauty And The Beast is up on theatre screens and Disney fans all over the world are gushing with excitement. The ‘Tale
Beauty & the BeastDisney's latest visual makeover for a tale as old as time.
Beauty & The Beast
Beauty And The Beast is up on theatre screens and Disney fans all over the world are gushing with excitement. The ‘Tale as Old as Time’ is by far the most adventurous CGI challenge taken up by Disney. It’s nostalgic, relevant and beautiful. To top it all, Belle is played by the veritable ‘princess’ of the British Film Industry, Emma Watson. All the most memorable sound tracks are included in the screenplay and the iconic yellow gown that Belle adorned in the 1991 animated film looks so beautiful when hung on Emma. The film is as magical as the first time you happen to visit Disney Land. Makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.
But then again, is it your kind of film? Or is it something that only a little girl would enjoy? Read on.
First let’s meet the actors:
Hermione as Beauty, Belle
Dan Stevens as Beast/ Prince
Luke ‘Dracula’ Evans as Gaston (the anti-hero)
Kevin Kline as Belle’s eccentric father
Josh Gad as Le Fou
There is something timeless about the story of Beauty and the Beast. Is it beauty or monstrosity that lies within. Ego and jealousy tarnish everything but it’s mother, external beauty. Is love all powerful, or is it simply a reflection of our weaker selves, which is always in need of help, projected on another person. It’s a deep and meaningful story, but it’s also a classic fairytale. That’s why even after all this time, Beauty and the Beast continues to be relevant. Always.
The film is consistent in terms of visual spectacles, right from the moment when Belle is introduced to when she is withering like the cursed rose in the dungeon of the Beast’s castle. Some moments are particularly exciting, such as when the antropomorphic pots and pans formally welcome Belle, their new ‘guest’, to the castle and the entire hall is lit with jubilant colours. Just as beautiful as it all is, it’s equally frightening since everything seems very real. Disney has done an A grade job.
The film is also a part of Disney’s newest movement favouring inclusion and feminism, so that the older tales do not seem as regressive to the newer generation. Belle is more defiant to Gaston’s blabber than she is scared. She decides to fight and protest valiantly when time requires her to. Le Fou, Gaston’s sidekick is very obviously gay and Disney doesn’t make a big deal out of it. People of colour have been included in the film, so as to show some form of equal representation. It’s all very in line with all the issues that exist in America’s social media sphere. This seems partly clever and partly opportunistic. Take it as you will.
Emma Watson is Belle the bibliophile. She is a forward thinking young lass who is destined for much larger things than being married away to narcissistic Gatson. She is also very compassionate, breathtakingly beautiful and mildly foolish. All things that make up the average Disney heroine. Emma Watson acts and twirls and yes, she sings too. She is of course no match for Celine Dion, but she does her best, and we wouldn’t want to nitpick.
Even though there is nothing wrong with her performance, it isn’t wonderful. She hasn’t really evolved from being Miss Granger, and it is very evident in this particular flick. We really hope she isn’t typecasted as the knowledgeable and able, overly affectionate, mildly rebellious but ultimately amiable girl who desires a future with a loving man. Not mincing any words, Emma Watson is the only deterrent to this Disney classic, due to no fault of her own.
Dan Stevens plays the beast with remarkable depth of character. The Beast was always a very multidimensional character in this tale, and his personna was not fully explored in the previous movie. This film however, manages to do some justice to the Beast. Dan Stevens is ferocious as he snarls at the wolves and falls on the hard rocks of the castle, is melancholic in the inner chambers of his castle and is gracious when introducing Belle to his world. Also, his makeup as the Beast is almost too good to be true.
Luke Evans and Josh Gad are so perfect in their roles it’s almost uncanny. We really do start despising Luke Evans for all his internal ugliness. However, Beauty and the Beast has always been more than it’s major four characters. Mrs Potts, Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth add all the necessary comic relief in the otherwise emotionally burdened plot. Our favourite of course, is Chip.
Our only regret is that there was absolutely no innovation in the script and that watching this film felt a little like watching a pre-read play. We knew the story, there were no twists, it was very straightforward and ultimately bordering on being boring.
In summary, if you have grown up watching Disney films, go and watch this film. If you have a little one at home, you really should catch the film. If you just need a break this weekend and aren’t averse to the idea of a fantasy film, you should catch it. This film is not made for television screens, so all those who want to watch Beauty and the Beast, please catch it before it exits the theatres. It’s warm and magical, a feeling very hard to encounter in this day and age. I give it 3.5/5.
You will like this film if: You’re secretly a Disney Princess at heart. Or you simply like big, spectacular, well crafted musicals.
You will dislike this film if: You cannot stand love, magic, music or happily ever afters. Or if the only kind of films you enjoy are of the thriller-gangster movie genre.
Best Performance: Josh Gad