Adapted from the animated Disney film of the same name, Beauty and the Beast tells the story of a young prince (Dan Stevens) who after an encounter with an Enchantress, gets imprisoned in the form of a Beast. Alongside his caretakers and staff, who have all been transformed into household items; they all await the day that they can be freed from the curse by true love. An only opportunity arises when Belle (Emma Watson) visits the castle in search of her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline).
Okay, despite naysayers, haters and fence keepers of the film, I must say that I absolutely loved it. I watched this film twice (once in IMAX) and still couldn’t get enough! Though a remake with several differences, the plot was still closely similar to the animated film and the songs were so much fun to sing along to.
The casting team should give themselves a pat on the back because everyone was perfect for their roles. Bear with me as I’m about to go into the reasons why for the main four.
I know of some who would disagree with Watson playing Belle but given the age of the character, there really isn’t anyone else. And though I know her voice sounded flat at times, I thought it wasn’t too bad. With the question about Belle’s Stockholm Syndrome in the air before the film opened in cinemas, I’m happy to see that Watson took on the character in a different way. Her version of Belle seemed a lot more tomboy-ish and despite her wardrobe being slightly underwhelming, it still had elements from the animation while still staying practical for everyday use. In terms of her personality, she stands up for herself and decides to make her stay here as unpleasant for the Beast as possible. This actually helps to make her relationship with the Beast more believable as compared to the animated film.
Charming audiences as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey, Stevens returns to charm audiences as the Beast. I particularly enjoyed the song they had composed for the Beast to sing, solely because we’ve never heard how he felt about Belle before. It was both moving and sweet – which kinda showed how much Belle had changed him. This also felt like a tailor-made role for Stevens as he does have some dreamy baby blues.
There is no one who could have taken on the role of Gaston as flawlessly as Luke Evans. Besides being able to sing (quite similarly) like the animated Gaston, Evans embodies that arrogant swagger without breaking a sweat. During the scene where he incites the mob, it was almost hard to remember that this horrible man doesn’t exist. Evans’ effortless attempt at being bad really made it so easy to think that he probably is Gaston in real life. But of course, that’s not true. He’s a sweetheart – did you see that instagram post with his mom?
An already Disney familiar, Josh Gad takes on a new character in the Disney Universe as LeFou. Although there had been several negative responses to LeFou being gay, I actually thought it didn’t matter as much as people thought it would. There wasn’t any scenes that would have been deemed unfriendly for children and let’s be honest – this new aspect of LeFou helped to make scenes witty and enjoyable. Gad’s ability to steal scenes with his expressions definitely made him the easiest to cast and I liked that he added a bit of conscience into his character, especially when faced with Gaston’s decisions.
As a huge fan of musicals, I really liked that they added in new original songs for the film. It helped to tell the story a little especially when the words depict the emotions in the scene or moment in the film. Though I felt Ewan McGregor’s rendition of Be Our Guest was a little flat, the visual made up for it especially with Cogsworth in a turban.
This is by far one of my favorite movies of 2017 and it’ll probably be my next obsession once the film comes out in DVD. Excuse me while I replay Gaston for the hundredth time.