Disney’s 1991 Beauty and the Beast has been engraved into the DNA of my generation. The story taught the important lesson of learning not to judge based off someone’s appearance, but to look at who a person is on the inside. It was also a film that helped pioneer the blending of both classic animation with, at the time, newly innovated CGI style of animation. Beauty and the Beast is a film that I personally hold dearly to my heart. With that said, when I heard Disney had begun filming a live-action version of the timeless classic, I was a little apprehensive. After seeing the film, I quickly realized that my gut was wrong. Beauty and the Beast was a home run for me.
Right as the movie began, I felt I was teleported back to my childhood. Though, there were some slight differences in the story, the movie was almost in sync with the original animated classic. You could tell where the storytellers didn’t want to upset fans of the previous incarnation because they wrote the story in such a way it felt like the animated version was literally copied and pasted into “real life”.
Director, Bill Condon, took an interest approach with the direction of the film. There were moments in the movie that felt like I was watching The Sound of Music. The camera shots and the approach to the singing parts of the movie brought elegance to the film I haven’t seen in a long time.
One of the things I was worried about when the rumors began with a “live-action” Beauty and the Beast in the works was who would portray the beloved characters. All worries were put to ease when I saw the movie. Actress Emma Watson is Belle. The casing crew could not have done a better job picking the right person for the part. She was the best part of the film. The other supporting cast was just as great. How could you go wrong with a cast that consist of Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, Josh Gadd, Ewan McGregor, and Ian McKellen. They all did wonderful with even some of the challenging parts. Which brings me to the music.
The music was a little different, but not in a bad way. I had heard an interview with the film’s lead actress, Emma Watson, where she stated she was a little nervous because she didn’t know if she could pull off the singing. Well, I can say she and the rest of the cast did a wonderful job at the singing. It felt like the filmmakers had decided to slow the tempo down in some of the songs, but it was okay because it added an element of emotion to the live actors on the screen.
There is more and more that could be said about this movie, but the bottom line is if you haven’t seen this film… Go and see it. It is well worth it. The story was spot on and there is a unique style to the film that brings out the best in the acting and musical numbers. I give Disney’s 2017 Beauty and the Beast a solid 5 out of 5 stars.