I finally went and saw Beauty & the Beast this weekend; I know, I know, I’m late. I’m sure those of you who wanted to see it have already made a trip to the theatre; but for those of you who are on the fence, I’m here to (hopefully) offer you some perspective. If you enjoyed the original film, then I think it’s worth seeing. However if you don’t care for fairy tails, then you should probably sit this one out.
Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in this live-action remake of the 1991 Disney Classic, and overall, I thought the movie was solid; slightly underwhelming but still good enough for me to see again. Beauty & the Beast was one of my favorite Disney movies as a kid, and I think my expectations were a wee bit too high walking into the theatre. I may have put it on a pedestal that wasn’t reachable, either way, I still enjoyed it! The special effects were incredible (no surprise here) and I absolutely loved the Beast. I think the writers did an incredible job of softening him up just enough to where the budding romance between he and Belle became more believable (at least to me). As for Belle, when the casting of Emma Watson was announced, I was thrilled. I didn’t think there was a better option anywhere; and while I still think that’s probably true, It took me longer to warm up to her than I thought it would and I was a little underwhelmed with her performance (specifically in the beginning). Belle is known for being beautiful, quirky and incredibly sweet. Unfortunately, in the opening scene (and throughout the first half-ish), Emma fell flat in delivering the sweetness and quirkiness that make Belle who she is. With that being said, I think she hit her stride about midway through and I ended up liking her just fine. In fact, I thought all of the casting was great!
My favorite scene was probably “Be Our Guest” (Gaston’s pub scene was also great)! It was colorful, exciting, fun and full of life. Of course I also love when Belle and the Beast have their enchanting moment…(“tale as old as time, true as it can be, barely even friends, then somebody bends, unexpectedly”)…swoon! Emma Watson looked absolutely stunning as Belle; and The Beast, despite his outward appearance, comes off as sweet and soft. You can see his heart changing right before your eyes; and call me a sap, but it’s just the best!
I read a lot of reviews that thought the added scenes were irrelevant and bothersome; however, I don’t feel the same. I thought the scene where the Beast takes Belle to Paris so she can learn more about her mom was sweet. I don’t think it was necessary, but it certainly didn’t bother me. The one thing that was a bit off for me was LeFou (please don’t hate me for saying that). His character just didn’t work for me. I can’t really explain it, it just didn’t feel authentic; It felt more childish and jokey than I thought it should for being a live-action film. I also heard people say that they didn’t like the casting of Gaston or Maurice, to which I disagree. I thought Luke Evans and Kevin Kline did a great job portraying their respective characters. Gaston was still the smug, chauvinistic, rude villain that we are accustomed to, and Maurice was eccentric and humble; I thought both characters were well represented and helped carry the movie in times when the story fell flat. While the Beast was my favorite character in the movie, Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Philippe and the whole Castle crew were just as lovely. Emma Thompson was the PERFECT person to play Mrs. Potts, I mean honestly, don’t you just love her?!?!
So despite feeling slightly underwhelmed as I walked out of the theatre, the Disney remake still gave me that swoon-worthy feeling I get every time I watch the original. I can’t help but smile when Belle and the Beast have their enchanting moment on the dance floor, it certainly fills my heart with more happiness and love than I thought a movie ever could!
Have you seen the movie? What were your thoughts? Did you love it? Hate it? Fall somewhere in the middle? Let me know!