Cert: PG Runtime: 129 mins Director: Bill Condon Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci
Be Our Guest
Probably the greatest musical of the 1990’s Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has a strong childhood hold on many people. Disney’s recent plans of re-making some of their most beloved classics, don’t get me wrong Jungle Book and Cinderella works pretty well. Once the trailer dropped all I thought was this is a shot for shot re-make! What is the point? Well nostalgia rules Hollywood right now, this film will make a billion dollars easily. So what is Beauty and the Best about? Belle (Emma Watson) is a bookish young woman and keen inventor who goes in search of her father Maurice (Kevin Kline) when he disappears after visiting a mysterious castle. When she gets there, she is shocked to learn that he is the prisoner of the monstrous Beast (Dan Stevens) and volunteers to take his place. Initially terrified of her captive, she soon learns about how he was transformed from a handsome prince into his current state by a magical curse, and a tender love story soon develops.
Beauty and the Beast delivers what it intended to do! It re-lives the magic of the original but it does sink a bit. The music itself when we get the familiar songs work well but the new songs are pretty dull and are only there to flesh out the run-time IMO. Bill Condon is a steady pair of hands for B&B, he helms it well. The set designs are magical and work well within this world, the CGI can be slightly messy. I am not the biggest fan of Dan Stevens Beast look, he doesn’t seem as ferocious as you would expect. Lumiere, Cogsworth & co. work rather well. The realistic aesthetic to them works well, but the Be Our Guest sequence does fall rather flat. It doesn’t look very organic and doesn’t flow well with Emma Watson being the only human in the scene. It took me about 10 minutes to truly get into it because it was such a strange sensation to watch my childhood be portrayed by other people. The introduction of the Beast’s backstory seemed rather pointless too.
As for the cast Emma Watson delivers a Emma Watson performance, she is strong, independent and well we all just love her. She really does embody the Belle we all remember, for me she is my personal favourite Disney female leads. Dan Stevens was an OK Beast, nothing really significant. His mo-cap work was rather good, the fact you actually see his actual expressions really gives Beast more heart. His chemistry with Watson seemed rather flat and didn’t give much spark. The big surprise for me was Luke Evans as Gaston, he embodies the man we all loath and he can sing very well. This guy keeps surprising me every movie. Josh Gad as LeFou gives a great sidekick, the whole openly gay character has gone out of proportion and people need to get with the times. McKellen, Thompson and McGregor were great casting here. They provide great moments in the film and really keep the magic going. Beauty and the Beast is a good time and worth watching but it has it’s flaws. I’m sure the majority will pass it’s issues and just enjoy the movie.