Friday, April 28, 2017

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

When it was first announced that there was going to be a live action film version of Beauty and the Beast I thought “what a cheap trick by Disney to make more money” after all we already had the 1991 animated movie and a Broadway show. Then I learned who was in the cast and my interest peaked. A couple of months after it opened in theaters I decided to see what the buzz was about.

“A tale as old as time” and a film as new as can be Beauty and the Beast is the same story as it has always been, a young girl named Belle, played by Emma Watson, feels out of place in her small France town, she avoids advances from the not so charming Gaston, played by Luke Evans and loves her father, played by Kevin Kline. It is when her father goes missing that Belle discovers him locked in a enchanted castle where almost every object is alive-A candelabra (Ewan McGregor as Lumiere), a clock (Ian McKellen as Cogsworth), a wardrobe (Andra McDonald as Madame Garderobe), her husband (Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza), a teapot (Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts) and a teacup (Nathan Mack as Chip)-and a Beast, played by Dan Stevens, who was once a Prince lives.

Although it is a story I have watched many times it never gets old and this new live action version allows old and new fans to watch the movie with new eyes. All of the original songs are there and some new ones which just add to the story. The visual effects alone make the movie worth watching. This is shown while comparing the animated original with this new film, seeing a talking candlestick in a cartoon is cute but seeing Lumiere as a more tangible object is something better altogether. A cartoon Belle taking a sip from Chip is nice but seeing an actual actress (one who has grown up on film) take a sip from the same teacup make the viewer young and old believe in magic. Then there is the Be Our Guest scene, I won’t go into details but it has always been my favorite part of the story and director Bill Condon turns the dinner into a spentacular showstopping number.

Mr. Condon and crew make Beauty and the Beast a wonderful time at the cinama. From the small town to the scary woods to the castle itself the production design is a thrill ride for the eyes. From Gaston’s uniform to Belle’s yellow ball gown the costumes hold true to the original animation. From the main characters to the ensamble the entire cast look as if they are having fun. Although I knew the ending I stilled cried but enjoyed every second, every frame and every scene of Beauty and the Beast.  

Josh Gad also stars as the loveable LeFou