Unless you have been living under a rock you are aware that Disney has released a live action remake of their 1991 classic Beauty and the Beast. This movie will satisfy those of you who are avid Disney fans and who have been excited about this movie coming out. It was a good remake, however it is hard for anything to be unique in a remake like this of such a loved movie. Coming out of the movie all I really wanted to do was go home and re-watch the 1991 animated version which is exactly what I did as soon as I got home.
Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle, a young woman who doesn't really fit into the small French town where she lives with her father Maurice, played by Kevin Kline. One day, while her father is going to a fair to sell some clocks, he is forced down a different path and ends up at an enchanted castle where a young prince has been turned into a Beast, played by Dan Stevens, by an enchantress. The Beast and his servants are under this enchantment until either he discovers love and is loved in returned, where the spell will be lifted, or until the last petal falls, where they will be cursed forever. Discovering that her father has been taken prisoner in the castle, Belle takes his place. Meanwhile, a local man Gaston, played by Luke Evans, has decided that since he is the best man in the town he wants to marry Belle, the pretties girl in the town. When she doesn't want him he does what he has to in order to try win her hand and will go destroy anything in his path. Also staring Josh Gad as LaFou; Ewan McGregor as Lumiere; Ian McKellen as Cogsworth; Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts; Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe (the wardrobe); Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza (the piano); and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette.
The one thing that this movie has is a very good cast overall, I liked that casting of everyone and could tell that the majority of the cast were enjoying what they were doing in this movie. Although it didn't do anything unique, overall you could see that the movie was made because it wanted do justice to the animated classic.There were moments through that were forced and didn't flow well between classic lines or songs and what was different. This movie was not close enough nor different enough from the 1991 version to really shine on its own. There were moments where I really wanted the nostalgia and for it to just be a live action version of a specific scene or if it was different to make it unique or special in some way. Besides the Disney magic there was nothing special about this movie. Overall enjoyable but nothing really special. I did really like the fleshed out the backstories of Belle and the Beast. This part is handled very well, weaving in some details but not derailing from what was happening.
Emma Watson really tried as Belle and I was impressed with her singing but she never really melded into the character, I can notice her acting throughout and she always seems to act the same way in all of her movies just with different accents. I really enjoyed Gastan and LaFou and really think these two do did the best in bringing their characters to life. While watching them I didn't think that they were just trying to do there best to be the characters, they were actually the characters. The rest of the cast (not CGI'ed) were good but al the accents were different from each other. I did enjoy the chemistry between everyone and think that the moments between Belle and her father were great.
The production value of this movie was fantastic and I could see all the money that was put into making it, my problem was with the choices in how things looked. The CGI was done well but the characters just looked weird. I don't think any of the main enchanted characters looked like better or real life versions of their 1991 counterparts, especially Mrs. Potts and Lumiere. I could handle Lumiere and Cogsworth better than Ms. Potts but didn't like them when they were stationary object. Mrs. Potts just looked weird all the time and I found watching her distracting due to this weirdness. I did like Chip and some out the second tier characters, such as the butler coat rack and Plumette.
The most distracting thing in this movie for me was the Beast. I know that they were going with making him more appealing and wanting Luke Evans to be seen as a hottie, but I could thin of when I was watching him was that he belonged in Narnia. He was very much a mythical Narnia character with his overall look and especially his voice that I didn't see Beast at all in him. I had this thought way too much during this movie. Also his overall behavior wasn't brooding or in anyway unappealing or standoffish. He came across more as intellectual and aloof then beastlike. Sure he was selfish before he was turned into a beast but as a beast there wasn't anything specifically unappealing about him except that he was suppose to be unappealing and described as a beast.
The cinematography, set design, and costuming was wonderful. Everything was thought about and effort was put into all the details. It was a beautify movie to watch and all of this production worked very well together. I loved all of the set pieces and enjoyed how the village, countryside, forest, and castle were done. The effort put into these were not wasted.
Overall. the movie has enjoyable bits and some not my preference bits but it was good and it will be something that I will watch again. I will not be surprised when it is a hit for kids and Disney fans alike but I would have preferred for there to be a different style to it. If you have been looking forward to this coming out you will enjoy it.
My Rating: 2