Bonjour! Good day! How is the film…? If you have ever watched the animation of Beauty and the Beast (1991), you’ve probably read these first words singing the melody of the film.
After watching the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon, I’ve been singing the songs again and again in my head. This film did an excellent job at bringing back that sparkle that everyone felt as a child when watching Belle singing and going through her provincial town.
Moreover, the casting selection was terrific, choosing the best suitable actors for their corresponding roles. Belle played by Emma Watson portrays a charming and intelligent girl who is innovative, smart, ambitious, independent, and fearless. By selecting Watson to play Belle, the fictional character becomes double ‘powerful’, as the actress shares these qualities and emphasizes them by being an activist for gender equality. Gaston played by Luke Evans looks exactly the same as the animation. His eyes and the way he looks at other people (and himself, as he is a narcissist) brings the fictional character to life. I could go on with all the roles and how they perfectly fit, but then this would become too long, as the casting is quite large and of excellent quality with names such as Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Ewan McGregor as Lumière, etc. etc.
Just in case you do not know the story, its narrative begins with Belle who is bored of her town and dreams of big adventures in Paris. However, she cannot bring herself to leave, as her father Maurice is lonely and is getting old. One day, her father goes away to deliver something, but the road that he was supposed to take was closed. He decides to go through another path, which leads him directly to the forgotten castle of the Beast (Dan Stevens). Here, he is taken prisoner. Belle goes to rescue him, but instead, she switches places with her father. A long time ago, the Beast was cursed by a witch because of his arrogance and superficiality. To break the spell, he has to find someone who loves him by who he is. He must do this before the last petal of the rose falls off. If he fails to do so, he and his servants will not become human again. Maurice tries to rescue Belle, but things turn out different.
The film was first planned to be banned in Malaysia because it portrays a gay character. However, after much backlash, the government authorised the uncensored version of the film for release in the country.
The live-action film will not disappoint you, as this is as enchanting as the tale itself. Beauty and the Beast is astonishing with dance scenes that are well coordinated, and a CGI animation that brings life to the environment and the servants. Perhaps some people might not like the look of the Beast but after a while, you get used to it – even when he laughs he is cute. So I’d say, give this film a try, revive your childhood memories and create new ones with this empowering modern version of a classic tale.