Hi guys – sorry I’ve had to put blogging at the end of my to-do list life’s been a little busy recently. However, on to more exciting news- Beauty & The Beast is finally in cinemas! Hurrah! Know I’m a little late on this but I’m so happy it’s got a live action do over – but never the less I was sceptical. I love love love the old Disney films, they’re completely and utterly my childhood and let’s face it my adulthood too. Can’t really beat lying in bed and watching a Disney film after a long day of work, am I right? So, today I finally managed to get round to seeing it – I would say contains spoilers but who doesn’t know the plot by now?
First of all, I know the 1991 version nearly completely off by heart (guilty and proud) so it was really easy for me to point what-what it was exactly that they added to the film. The set of the film was completely magical, Disney really did bare no expense to the detail of the castle & other parts of the set. Not only that, it was extremely detailed, the castle, the rose, the picture on the wall that the beast had ripped, the costumes etc were all very similar to the cartoon version.
The story for you who don’t know begins with The Beast, then not so humble Prince Adam (yes he’s not nameless his name is Adam!) refuses away the old beggar women who wants to take shelter from the storm and offers him a rose in return. Refusing this, it turns out that she’s a magical enchantress (sly) and turns him into a Beast.
Fast forward to Belles father, Maurice on his way to the market (not the inventors fair as in 1991) and Belle asks for a rose as she apparently does every time he does to the market (new information?). The reason I bring this up is that the new movie deals with Maurice entering the castle & being locked away in the tower a lot better than the original. In the 1991 version, Maurice gets verbally ripped to pieces & imprisoned by the beast for sitting in front of his fire (slight over reaction). However in the new movie, on upon his leaving of the castle, he stops in the garden to steal a rose for Belle – this is then when The Beast imprisons him for stealing stating ‘he got a much rougher deal when he encountered a rose’ – very clever Disney. 10/10
The best part of this film is probably Gaston & Le Fou. Most definitely Gaston & Le Fou – he’s still chauvinist but you see far more of both of their personalities in this film, Josh Gad is thee most perfect person to pay LeFou. They’re not just a villain and his sidekick or people what you just want to hate, you laugh with them and at them- you get a real sense of their relationship. Especially maybe very slightly Le Fou’s secret feelings for Gaston, but the banter between them both is very well designed.
The ‘Gaston’ musical number during the film was the best part, reminded me very so slightly of ‘Master of the House’ in Les Mes – it looked like it belonged on Theatre and I was watching it live on stage and I really enjoyed that. Think this is because the actor who plays Gaston (Luke Evans) has been trained in the west end – either way, it’s so good. There was the introduction of some new songs too (ooooh) I know, risky right? I’m still not sure how I feel about the new songs yet – on one hand I feel it was necessary to update the film and bring it 20 years into the modern world, on the other I feel like it didn’t really add much to the film.
Bits that I didn’t enjoy? Certain aspects were added in such as a magical book that could transport them anywhere in the world. Belle chooses to go back to her birthplace in Paris and discovers that her mother died of the plague. I feel that this wasn’t really needed?
Disney I believed added it in because there is a huge lack of mothers in Disney films such as Pocahontas, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Snow White etc so maybe wanted to explain what had happened but I think it was a little pointless. Like why would the enchantress turn him into a beast and confine him to a castle but also give him a magical book to travel where they want too? Little confusing for me.
Another little niggle would be the many different accents in the film. Based in France, Lumiere is voiced by Ewan McGregor who puts on a French accent. However, Cogsworth voiced by Sir Ian McKellen as well as The Beast (Dan Stevens) & Belle (Emma Watson) are very much British – while LeFou (Josh Gad) has an American accent? Odd but again, just a little niggle.
Emma Watson as Belle for me was a very good cast physically – aesthetically she is very beautiful and naturally not in character she is very intellectual so she lends herself naturally to the role of Belle. Her singing, however, not my favorite part. She didn’t have any big numbers but you can tell the ones that she did have were slightly autotuned. Not sure if i’m just being this critical because she’s always going to be Hermione to me. All other casting was spot on and poor Dan Stevens getting a bit of flack for not being as fit as the cartoon version – he’s made up in the cartoon guys – ain’t no one strolling around looking like Prince Adam.
Overall? I absolutely loved this film. I want to go see it again already. It was really lovely to see one of my childhood films brought to life and I suppose I’m probably a little over critical as it is a beloved classic in my eyes & if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? However, this is a beautifully written and directed take on Beauty and The Beast that gives it a fresh do-over while still paying massive respect to the beloved original.
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lots of love