Plot: “An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.” (imdb.com)
Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Genre: Family, Fantasy, Musical
Tale as old as time. When it was first announced that another Beauty and the Beast adaptation was in the making, many people thought “Do we really need another one of those?” or “Why would they ruin my favourite childhood film?” or “Live-action Beauty and the Beast? It will never work”. Well, let me tell you, it did work just fine. And, dare I say it; I loved it more than the animated film. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that there were many men and women of all ages at the cinema. Because the film we watched was not only for children (I’d even say that adults would probably enjoy it more than kids) and not only for young women who love romantic films. It was so much more. This film has more to offer than just a romance.
Some people might claim that they didn’t like the animated film so they won’t bother with this one or that it’s a film for children or that they can’t stand romantic films or that musicals are not their thing. Oh yes, warning: It’s a musical. The poor bloke behind me (who was probably dragged to the cinema by his girlfriend) wasn’t aware of that, apparently. I could hear him sighing every time they burst into song every 10 minutes or so. But all I can say is this: give it a chance. I was never a fan of the 1991 animated version as a child but I really liked this one. Was it the absolutely brilliant cast? (I might be a bit biased though because I adore Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson and Ewan McGregor) The costumes and sets? The music? The magic of seeing a childhood film come to life before your very eyes? A combination of all those things, I suppose.
The film was witty and funny, with Lumiere the candelabra (Ewan McGregor) and Cogsworth the clock (Ian McKellen) having the best and funniest lines. Luke Evans is simply excellent as the narcissistic brute, Gaston. Dan Stevens as the Beast and Emma Watson as Belle did not disappoint either. Featuring classic Disney songs like “Gaston” and “Be Our Guest”, the film also features 3 more original songs called “Evermore”, “Our Song Lives On”, and “Days in the Sun”. I don’t know much about music so I can’t really judge their singing voices, but I quite liked what I heard. With scenes recreated almost shot for shot but also adding small details and fixing the original film’s plot holes, this adaptation is unique. The scene at the end when everyone returns to their human forms is simply iconic.
To conclude, Beauty and the Beast did not disappoint me, even though I had high expectations. The music, the colours, the cinematography, the fairy tale element; they all make it an enjoyable film to watch. So, give it a chance. You never know, you might like it.