The live action remake of the 1991 animated classic Beauty and the Beast is here. Starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the titular characters.
So, is it any good?
This is a great movie. Director Bill Condon does a fine job. It is a hard job to film scenes where so many of the characters aren’t actually present and are to be added later via CGI. It is seamlessly done in Beauty in the Beast – it truly looks fantastic.
Emma Watson does a good job as Belle and backs up her performance with some pretty decent singing. Dan Stevens fits his character well enough but they just never quite reach the level of endearment felt towards the originals.
Luke Evans as Gaston almost steals the show in my opinion. He is suave, bruttish and incredibly charismatic as the narcissistic hunter. Josh Gad continues his trend as the comic sidekick as Le Fou, especially standing out as he leads the song “Gaston“.
This is where Beauty and the Beast really shines (for the most part) – the music. New renditions of classics like “Belle”, “Something There” and of course “Beauty and the Beast” are nothing short of magical.
The stand out song is obviously “Be Our Guest“, delightfully performed by Ewan McGregor as the candelabra Lumiere. It is accompanied by a showcase of a CGI extravaganza that elicits an infectious trance as you’re swept up in the music and scenery.
The movie does however make a misstep or two with some of the songs. “Evermore” – a new song written by original composer and lyricist Alan Menken and Tim Rice shows the sadness of the Beast when Belle leaves to save her father. It’s a great song, don’t get me wrong – but the placement of it in the movie kills the momentum.
A brief subplot or two about the enchantress who cursed the Beast and Belle’s mother are briefly explored. While they don’t add too much to the overall story, neither do they detract from it. Yet they feel like answers to questions nobody asked.
Will it replace the original? No, but I don’t believe that was ever the movie’s intent.
Beauty and the Beast is a well put together film with moments to make you laugh, cry, sing and dance. A whole new generation gets to be introduced to a wonderfully fantastical world of beauties, beasts and singing teapots – and that’s awesome.
Beauty and the Beast is in cinemas NOW.