|Directed by||Bill Condon|
|Starring||Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson|
|Released on||February 23, 2017(Spencer House), March 17, 2017 (United States)|
I love musicals. There’s no other way to say it, so when I heard that Disney was remaking Beauty and the Beast, I was ecstatic. I love the original animated version just as any other 90s kids. In fact, if I remember correctly it was part of my daily routine as a kid – come back from school and sing along to that lovely soundtrack.
Now, I’m grown up but my love for the Beauty and the Beast has never faded. Anyway, enough about me let’s talk about the film. This new version Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. The two make an excellent pair on screen and I adore them both.
If you’ve never heard of Beauty and the Beast, here’s what its about. We have our main character Belle. She’s a young maiden who’s a sort of oddity in her village. She loves to read you see and the rest of the women in the village cannot read and have no inclination in learning to do so either. She’s mocked and a bit left out. There aren’t many like-minded people with her. She loves her father Maurice (Kevin Kline) deeply and it’s just the two of them because as we later find out, Belle’s mum died in the plague.
There’s another man named Gaston (Luke Evans). Gaston is very boisterous and loud. He’s a narcissist and he wants Belle to be his wife, come what may. He refuses to give up when she repeatedly turns him away, even when she says she will “never” marry him.
When Belle’s father’s horse returns without him on it, things start to go wrong. You see, Belle had asked him to bring her a rose. However, when wolves chased him, he unknowingly headed into the Beast’s layer. Upon picking a flower there and enraging the Beast, he’d been locked up. Belle goes to rescue her father and eventually trades places with him, choosing to be locked up for the rest of eternity.
The castle comes alive, the teapots, candlesticks, dressers, clocks – everything talks. You see, there’s been a spell cast by an enchantress that made the prince into a beast because he was too cruel. The rest of his servants had also been forced to turn into inanimate objects (well I suppose they’re animate). As our story progresses, we see Belle hold her own. She’s not about to back down just because the Beast may seem scary. As layers are pulled away we realize the Beast is actually not half bad and inside he’s a nice person. The two start to fall in love.
But alas, when the village comes to know of this Beast, they decide to charge his castle. There’s a lot of fighting amidst which the Beast is shot. As he lays there dying, Belle finally tells him she loves him. This breaks the enchantress’ spell and he returns to his human form. The two live happily ever after.
Of course, there are many more nuances to this beautiful film. I love the emotion, the music, the visuals, all of it.
One thing however that was decidedly annoying here was the amount of vocal editing or autotune or whatever they call it. I like it when audio engineers embrace the fact that the human voice isn’t perfect. It makes the whole production all the more organic. I would have loved it, if all the singing especially Belle’s didn’t sound so synthetic and robotic.
But other than that, I loved every second of Beauty and the Beast, honestly worth a watch.
Video Credit – YouTube