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Film Review: Beauty and the Beast
A Tale as Old as Time...
Inclusive. Visually stunning. Nostalgia galore.
These are some of the first thoughts that come to mind when describing the cinematic experience of the remake of the 1991 animated classic of the same name. “Beauty and the Beast” stars Emma Watson of the “Harry Potter” series and Dan Stevens of “Downton Abbey” fame in the titular roles.
We all know the story: A snobby prince rebuffs an old hag, who is really a beautiful enchantress in disguise, and in turn, is cursed into an ugly beast until he can find someone to love him, despite his appearance. Enter Belle, the bookish and innovative girl, who refuses to live a “provincial life.” A confluence of events transpire and, ultimately, Belle ends up befriending, and eventually, falling in love with the Beast. The curse is broken and everyone who was afflicted is soon returned to normal form. Emma Watson is simply enchanting in this film. Watson immersed herself fully into this role like a well-fitted glove, and manages to nail most of the singing parts, too (did not know she could sing until now). “Beauty and the Beast” featured a strong supporting cast, which included Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellen, Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson, and Josh Gad.
The music is enough to send you back to your childhood (if you’ve seen the original 1991 version). Sometimes you sing along, other times, you won’t and simply let the music take where it may. In any case, you can’t help but feel like you’re being cradled by the childhood warmth of a time, long since passed, that reemerges once again for the duration of this film. You can see the actors having a good time on-screen, its not everyday they get to act AND sing AND dance. Because that is a challenge and most actors love challenges…it is more fun that way, and who doesn’t like to have more fun?
What the film does the best, though, over everything else is its willingness to reflect society in a wider, and brighter, light. The film portrayed tow black characters that were originally white in the 1991 version, and featured, for the first time in Disney history, a gay character. It was a joy to watch this film as it forced me to reach back to the deep bowels of my mind, where my childhood memories reside, and unlock that box. A task a 30-something college student does not get to do quite often between exams, work, and the everyday mess that is human life.
Do yourself a favor and witness this year’s live-action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast.” Aside from being cinematically breathtaking, both visually and musically, it re-teaches a lesson on humility. A lesson that never grows old and one the world sorely could use nowadays. This interpretation of the “tale as old as time” was one that was handled with a careful eye for detail and refined touch for quality.
Don't be surprised, though, if you end up walking out of the theatre, humming, “a tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme…Beauty and the Beast." Because it will probably happen, believe me.
- Beauty and the Beast | Disney Movies
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic.
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