By Katie Dickie
Beauty and the Beast have recently been relaunched to our cinema screens, with the 2017 version a live action film, compared to the 1991 animation.
Director, Bill Condon, employs the latest technology in visual effects, computer generated imagery. Using 3D computer graphics to create scenes or special effects throughout the film.
When a handsome prince, played by Dan Stevens is transformed into a Beast by an enchantress who warns, “Beauty is found within,” she also places a curse on his servants.
Emma Watson plays Belle, the bookish beauty and heroine. Our first introduction shows her strolling around her home village of Villeneuve, in France, singing, “I want more than this provincial life.”
Gaston, a former soldier in the French army, seeks to marry Belle and is played by Luke Stevens. Will he succeed?
Lefou played by Josh Gad is Gaston’s side- kick and displays subtle affection towards him throughout the film.
Kevin Kline plays Belles father Maurice, a music- box maker. After picking a rose in the grounds of the castle, he is taken captive by the Beast.
Belle becomes a prisoner in exchange for her father going free. Will Belle soften the Beast’s heart?
If she falls in love with him the curse will be lifted on the Beast and his servants. Will this happen before the last petal falls from an enchanted rose?
Is Belle suffering from ‘Stockholm syndrome’? (Where a captive shares feelings of trust or affection toward their captor). Emma Watson has strongly disputed such claims, in recent interviews. I feel the relationship between Belle and the Beast is a matter for your own interpretation.
During a ballroom scene at the end, there is a brief ‘gay encounter’ with Lefou and another gentleman. This storyline has attracted much publicity, however young children would not pick up on this.
Beauty and the Beast is an excellent film, live action gave the film a good pace and depth, something that animation alone could not achieve. Cast performances were all superb.
The soundtrack, which has added three new songs, aided performance and helped convey background storylines.
Sarah Greenwood, production designer, added decadence to the sets and improved viewers understanding of the time period.
A parental guidance (PG) rating has been given to the film, as it contains some violent scenes, but should not unsettle a child aged eight or older.
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