Fall in Love with Beauty and the Beast... Again
I have a confession. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is not my favorite Disney movie. While it's also far from my least, the original probably ranks in my top five animated favorites. That said, the live action version starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast will make you fall in the love with the story and the characters all over again.
Watson is charming, fierce, and courageous. She embodies every aspect of Belle and is everything you could possibly want and more from the iconic Disney Princess. Stevens is the tortured and angry, self-loathing Beast in every way, and Gaston is still the pompous villain you love to hate and roll your eyes at. All the characters from the villagers (including Gaston's sidekick, LeFou) to the loveable household items Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and even the tiny teacup named Chip, felt so real in this adaptation. It's a world that sucks you in and makes you want to be a part of it.
While I've never been a fan of live action versions or remakes, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is true to the original story. Diehard purists should be pleased with this rendition, but will also welcome some subtle changes, including some humor and new music, in addition to all the old favorites. This really is a spectacular, well put together movie.
And while so much is done so well, including the love story and the sense of wonder, discovery, and magic, there were a couple of things that could have been done a bit better. The music, for the most part, matched well with the actors singing, especially for the main characters. But in a few of the ensemble pieces, the villagers mouth movements were a touch out of sync from the lyrics. It wasn't a major issue, but it did happen on occasion. And as for the 3D, it was more of a distraction than anything. In some cases it pulled the viewer out of the story and took away from some of the beautiful scenery that could have been downright stunning without the 3D.
Overall, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was solid, exciting, and had me grinning from ear to ear at my favorite scenes. I found myself getting emotional at the beautiful and iconic Tale as Old as Time scene with Watson in the gorgeous golden dress that took hundreds of hours to construct. And by the time the final rose petal floated off its stem, I felt for every single one of these characters that I grew up watching, and found myself falling head over heels for them all over again in this adaptation.
I give BEAUTY AND THE BEAST a solid 5 out of 5, despite the few minor issues mentioned. This movie will grab you and pull you in to its heart. Just do yourself a favor and skip the 3D. Otherwise this is a must see!
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