Beauty and the Beast: Visual masterpiece but nothing compared to the animation

The hype around the remake of Disney’s classic Beauty and the Beast made the film highly anticipated but it lacks the magic of the animation.

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Stephen Chbosky

Starring: Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson

Running time: 2hrs 9 mins

Certificate: PG

To say the new Beauty and the Beast is not a good film would definitely be a lie but there is something about the film that I simply could not enjoy.

The remake of the film follows adventurous Belle who stumbles upon an enchanted castle where furniture moves and talks and the prince has been turned into a hideous beast.

Following the same plot as the original animation the film did fill in some of the missing narrative plots and even shows the enchantress casting the spell on the castle.

As the film starts, the creators used the same music theme which hailed back to the original which was something that made me excited for the film to begin.

But as it progressed I felt more and more bored with the plot and the characters. With an added 20minutes or so to the film you beg the question did this or that scene really need to be included?

Having grown up watching the animated version I was already sceptical about a remake as most other fans would be as well.

When I original found out they had cast Emma Watson to play Belle I immediately was put off by her – then found out she was singing in it. Another thing to add to the list.

I don’t have anything against Watson at all and believe she is a talented actress but she is probably the epitome of ‘British’ yet she is cast to play a French woman.

Same with the rest of the cast as well. We no longer live in a time where foreign actors are few so it begs the question as to why Disney used Hollywood-famous actors in their respective roles.

Was it simply to draw in the numbers to make a box office hit? Probably. As well casting a Scottish actor to play the French candlestick Lumiere was also a bit of a joke.

Ewan McGregor, who plays Lumiere, is another talented actor but throughout the film he slipped in and out of accents. The original cartoon version used a French actor so why couldn’t this one?

The only relatively suited actors were Sir Ian McKellen (Cogsworth) and Emma Thompson (Mrs Potts).

Both these characters are supposed to be well-spoken British servants and I couldn’t think of two better people to play these roles.

The animation/CGI itself was not that great either. By being a remake that uses the same narrative, same songs and same characters could have used the same design of the characters. No?

This could be because the conglomerate Disney was to sell brand new merchandise with these new character looks. A good idea but bad for film fans like myself.

Speaking of CGI and going to back to the ‘hideous beast’, I couldn’t help but see the beast was not as hideous as he is supposed to be. In fact he is well groomed and relatively handsome in some weird way.

I must admit the three new songs added to the soundtrack are particularly good and memorable which is a good thing.

The narrative also added some new interesting plot devices such as the castle continues to fall and break when the rose petals fall. This is a feature I enjoyed.

The film itself is pretty good and you will find yourself enjoying it despite some worries I had from the offset but I was generally quite disappointed.

Also the title track of the same name is used but I was expected the Angela Lansbury original to be played while the credits role. Maybe I was expecting too much of the film.

Nonetheless it isn’t as bad as I have made out – plus the ‘gay moment’ barely exists and I couldn’t even tell you where it is – and I am sure it will be up for a couple of Oscar nominations.


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