BY CASSIDY NOWASAD
Disney’s recently released Beauty and the Beast, a musical romantic dark fantasy, is a live-action remake of Disney’s 1991 animated film of the same name.
In the movie, an odd woman named Belle ends up from her quaint town with her father to being imprisoned in an enchanted castle by a fearsome Beast, who soon falls in love with her.
There, she learns his dark past along with the story behind his talking furniture and fixtures. Belle throughout the movie tries to evade Gaston, a narcissistic hunter who is obsessed to have her for himself, ultimately leading to a confrontation between both suitors.
Emma Watson’s singing at the beginning of the movie was dreadfully auto-tuned, sounding like it was shoved through a VCR and pulled out again. As for Watson’s acting abilities, they were not bad; however, she seems to be slightly stale and show no real internalization of character.
Beast was really amazing mostly due to makeup, costume, and CGI really immersing you into his personality. The actor really took on that over exaggerated sort of hostility and internal compassion very well.
The movie did recover as it progressed to the scenes at Beast’s castle where the effort significantly improved, and the way they included the song “Human Again from Beast” as opposed to the house furnishings was very well composed and suited the movie so much more, bringing tears from some members of the audience.
My favorite song visually was “Be our Guest.” The bright colors and well-refined CGI were striking, and it tended to be the favorite of most children. Gaston’s performance was okay, as it did not leave a long lasting impact, but rather an indifferent one. I think the actor is very talented but did not suit the role. One of the most lovable characters was Belle’s father Maurice (Kevin Kline) in the movie, who portrayed a sweet and quirky personality that really impacted the audience.
The back story they gave to Belle and Beast is probably one of my favorite things included in Disney’s remake of this classic movie.
It answered so many questions the first movie had left open-ended and stayed true to the time period of the movie.
The portrayal of Gaston as a man with controlled anger issues with his ‘friend’ LeFou was probably one of the most striking adjustments made by the directors.
The movie also deserves credit for its diversity with the multi-racial cast and queer characters; Lefou references in “Gaston” how there was a bite mark on his lower stomach, this along with other things gives this movie prevalent homoerotic subtext.
In the ending also one of the rioters is transformed into woman’s clothing and shows a liking to it, later dancing in the same outfit with LeFou.
As for the visual compositions, the opening seemed almost like you were viewing a play with a horrible camera recording, and scene structure however as the movie furthered to the portions of Beast’s castle the effects and cinematic charm completely transformed.
The garden in Beast’s’ Castle was probably my favorite part attraction wise; the flowers and the way they wrapped around the circular center piece white as the snow while Beast and Beauty talk is almost enchanting. The effects were stunning toward the ending as the castle crumbled, and wolves hunted the characters.
Beast’s extremely detailed and refined makeup and costume, along with his CGI talking house fixtures, made him feel incredibly life-like. However, this juxtaposes the beginning of the movie as it was clear they cared much less with some terrible green screen effects, and camera work as you follow Belle. The later portrayal of Paris was also astonishing, it felt as though you were truly brought into the 14th century.
This movie was mostly seen as an appeal to younger kids, but in actuality seems to be suited more to teens and adults, with its dark themes and historical references. It is definitely worth the trip to the theatre it is overall a very well made movie and the changes made are generally for the better.
Featured image is courtesy of Laurie Sparham © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc.
- Beast and Belle are given a backstory
- Graphics are extremely well done
- LGBT/multiracial inclusive cast
- Lovable characters
- Beginning is slow, and has bad visuals
- Gaston didn’t suit his role