By now almost everyone is familiar with the story of “Beauty and the Beast,” made famous by the 1991 Disney cartoon. For the few who are unfamiliar with this tale, a young girl finds a way to love a prince cursed with the appearance of a hideous beast. How, then, could one recreate this story to make it engaging and exciting again? Disney Productions did it again—they reinvented a timeless tail that is sure to delight the whole family.
The whole film was extremely well put together, with an intricate backstory woven seamlessly into the plot. Costumes, designed by Academy Award winning Jacqueline Durran, were dazzling and set designs were exquisite, but the most impressive quality of this movie would be the cast selection. Each character was perfectly cast to make this movie reach the fullest of its potential.
Most know Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, the formidable young girl in the Harry Potter series. However, Emma Watson is able to effortlessly embody Belle as the beautiful nerd who wants more than her life in a provincial town, as the song goes, which Watson surprisingly sang beautifully. Not traditionally a singer, Watson studied singing, along with acting, at the Stagecoach Theatre Arts School at Oxford.
Dan Stevens plays the beast, and although the audience only hears his voice and do not see his face for most of the movie, Stevens was still the perfect person to play the beast. Coming from playing a royal on “Downton Abbey,” Stevens had experience with playing royalty roles and was able to capture the sincerity of the beast.
The standout performance of the movie however has to be Luke Evans as the villain, Gaston. While Evans did not make audiences love his character, he did arouse the desired effect of making people hate Gaston. Evans powerful voice blew away the rest of the crowd and put on a performance that will redefine children’s images of the familiar foe in this classic tale.
The many side characters, such as LeFou (Josh Gad), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson), and so on, all complemented the main characters and completed a splendid cast.
“Beauty and the Beast” is dominating at the box office; however, there was some drama surrounding the movie, which threatened to take away from the main purpose of the film: to recreate a timeless tale. At the end of the movie, the character Lefou danced with a man, suggesting that the character is gay. Many people were outraged with Disney for including this scene in the film, while others are praising Disney for embracing modern culture.
The colors are brighter, the cast is better, and the songs are louder. This live-action film, “Beauty and the Beast” makes this timeless tale better than ever. Despite an awkward moment at the end with Stevens growling like a beast, the entire movie is an effortless combination of comedy and love, that will make all movie lovers smile and swoon.