While Beauty and the Beast is the most anticipate film of 2017 for many, I wasn’t so sure if I wanted to see it. When it was first announcement caused excitement, both the teaser and the trailer didn’t seem impressive. Nor did I believe Emma Watson was the right choice for Belle, especially in comparison to the casting choice for the live-action remake of Cinderella. This may seem trivial, but the dress as well! It may be just a dress, but being a Disney film, it’s always an important element of the film!
But oh boy, how very wrong I was.
Emma Watson’s performance in the role of Belle was commendable. Albeit her facial expressions may have been too much at times and many facing the issue of separating Hermione Granger from Emma Watson, there was little to disapprove of. From the way she has made Belle move and talk, you can truly see how Belle is different from the rest of the villagers.
Now let’s talk about the Beast. There seems to be not much to say about him, especially since he’s not that different from the original Beast. At first he was violent and scary until he showed his sweet side. The CGI effect and Dan Steven’s acting really added another dimension to his character. As for Gaston, Luke Evans did an excellent job in playing the suave and handsome character and even though this is strange to say, he really makes you hate the character more than the original Gaston.
The visual effects in this movie are spectacular. From the menacing and alive castle, with hints of its previous glory to the furniture such as Chip and Lumière, it truly feels magical. The team behind the film has truly taken their time in paying attention to the details and capturing the essence of a Disney film.
Beauty and the Beast follows the same story as its animated original, but the atmosphere and the acting seem to alter some of the scenes. For example I found this to be the case during the beginning of the film during the voiceover about the Beast’s origin story and the fight scene between Gaston and Beast. The diversity in this film was a step up with LeFou, Plumette and Garderobe and even though they’re side characters, it’s a start and if you pay attention, you can also see many Asian actors during scenes of the film. While many believe the slight twist in altering the film to add a homosexual scene is nothing, for some countries, such as my own, it’s been the source of a significant amount of controversy, especially when Disney refused to cut the scene.
There aren’t many areas which come across disappointing, with the only ones being quite trivial for some. Firstly, the iconic yellow dress is gorgeous, but it feels too plain in comparison to the live-action Cinderella dress. Then there’s the ballroom scene. Thankfully they didn’t use Ariana and John’s version (even though it’s a decent cover), but the scene just doesn’t feel as magical as the animated version with grand windows and the starry sky.
All in all, Beauty and the Beast is a beautiful and magical movie which stays true to its core. It’s full of nostalgia, but fresh for both viewers who have or have not seen the original film. It also seems to mark a new era for Disney, and as much as I am hesitant to say this, I look forward to seeing what Disney has in store for us next.