Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen
Directed by: Bill Condon
Written by: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Rating: PG Running Time: 2 hr 9 min.
After watching the trailer for Beauty and the Beast, I did wonder why Disney were bothering with a live action remake. Other than because they said they were going to do this to all their greatest hits, and obviously, box office gold. This honestly looked like a beat for beat, shot for shot remake, only with real people and CGI. The seemingly blatant cash grab motivation behind the production of this film did not sit well with me.
So, I walked into the packed theater, having not seen the original Disney cartoon in over ten years, expecting a feeling of déjà vu as this new film covered all the classic moments. The ballroom dance, the finale, Belle’s opening song, etc. And for the first act, I saw nothing that convinced me this live action version was worth the ticket price. Sure, the production was first-rate and Emma Watson was fine, but there was nothing that really justified the film’s existence. Nothing that would make this stand on its own.
Then something happened. Heading into the second act, I started to notice small changes from the animated version of the film. There were even a couple of new songs too. The Beast got more of a back story, and Belle learns more about her mother. These were small changes to be sure, but welcome, and slowly but surely, this film won me over. By the third act I was completely enthralled, the song and dance performances were fantastic, and once again, Disney delivered the magic.
If you love this story, it’s worth seeing again. Expect glorious production values and well performed songs. Oh, and that ‘controversy’ over LeFou being gay, has been completely overblown – turned into a stupid issue by morons before they even properly knew what they were complaining about. Not that they’d have a legitimate reason to whine after seeing the film.
Luke Evans and Josh Gad did a great job of the song, Gaston. And I enjoyed the new songs, Days in the Sun and Evermore.