Beauty and the Beast reprises its role in theaters

A healthy mix of Stockholm’s syndrome and a provincial town in France is a good start to any functioning relationship. “Beauty and the Beast” once again told the “tale as old as time” in the new movie starring Emma Watson when it premiered on March 16.

The live action remake of the classic cartoon follows the same story as the original Disney production. Belle, played by Emma Watson, is growing tired of her repetitive and predictable life as the town oddball, never feeling quite as though she fits in due to her excessive book reading. When her father loses his way on the way to sell a clock, he takes shelter in a hidden castle in the woods, where he is captured by the Beast (Dan Stevens). Belle must embark on a journey to rescue her father, which she successfully does, albeit at the cost of her own freedom. Belle eventually grows to love her captor, meanwhile the egotistical Gaston attempts to rescue Belle in pursuit of her hand in marriage. All the while, dancing furniture and dishware make Belle feel at home which their combination of musical numbers and consoling cups of tea.

This remake was largely successful in terms of creating almost exactly the same movie as the cartoon. The few changes the movie made were refreshing, such as introducing an extra storyline about what happened to Belle’s mother and having Belle try to teach the other young girls in the village how to read.

The movie did a good job of making the love story between Belle and the Beast believable, although it retained the vague sense of Stockholm Syndrome on Belle’s part from the original. Dan Stevens and Emma Watson were both well cast for their respective roles, as they created interesting portrayals of their characters.

The music from Beauty and the Beast remains some of the best that Disney has to offer. However, the movie cut out some of the best and funniest lines from Gaston’s song, as well as adding new portions to the songs. These additions were welcome, but they were not worth the cost of the lost lyrics.

The “Beast’s Soliloquy” was an entirely new song that was a nice change, as the original cartoon never had a solo song for the Beast to sing. Stevens did a great job in performing the piece, supporting the sound and making it very emotional

Unfortunately, the sounds for Belle’s songs were poorly edited, and did not line up properly with her mouth as the soundtrack was overlaid on top of the video. While distracting at first, eventually I got used to it, but would have prefered to have not had to adjust.

The CGI was well executed for the furniture characters. They were able to easily change from animated characters to stationary stage props. The same cannot be said for the sets of the film, as the CGI was blurry and choppy, especially in the pan shots of the rooms.

The prize scene of Beauty and the Beast dancing together in the ballroom was well choreographed and the voice of Emma Thompson, playing Mrs. Potts, singing the song “Beauty and the Beast,” was well chosen for the role. Belle’s dress was a very beautiful and elegant take on the cartoon version.

The Mob Song was also very well done, with the energy of the actors contributing largely to a very tense and anxious scene, while the fire from torches gave the scene an ominous lighting.

Overall, Beauty and the Beast was very well done. Despite their cuts from the original Disney cartoon, the additions to the songs and the lively animation for the characters made up for it. The acting was impressive, and each character had their own sense of self. The tale as old as time remains a great aspect of the Disney movie retinue.

 

3.5/5

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