It may be a ‘Tale as old as time’ but Bill Condon’s remake of the 26 year old fairy-tale film was refreshingly modern, feel good and unforced.
The film is set in a picture-book French village during the 1780s. Beauty and the Beast’s heroine Belle was played by modern feminist Emma Watson. Watson’s character was clever and bookishness with a perfect balance of strong will and innocence.
Dan Stevens plays the enraged Beast whose charm seeps through from very early on in the film. Stevens adequately portrays his characters bitterness with undertones of frustration and sadness.
Gaston, the self loving bully is played by Luke Evans however it is his sidekick the smitten Le Fou played by Josh Gad who steals the show. McGregor and McKellan also work well together as the hilarious and odd duo Lumiere and Cogsworth.
The story follows a young prince – Dan Stevens – who refuses to help an old beggar lady when she arrives to his castle. The woman warns the prince not to be deceived by looks before transforming herself into a beautiful enchantress.
She puts a spell on the prince turning him into a beast and the castle’s inhabitants into furniture. The Beast must find love before all the petals from a magical rose have dropped.
The film pulls out all the stops in its ballroom scenes and most of all in the Be our Guest dinner sequence which can only be described as a “choreographic extravaganza”.
The movie highpoint reminds the viewers of Disney’s successful and magical history in cinematic craft. Throughout the film the frolicking furniture brings life and laughter to the audience during even the darkest of moments.
Overall, the live action/digital hybrid film was joyful and enchanting. Writer’s Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos skilfully modernised the story without eliminating all the features we fell in love with as children.
Those who predicted the film would not hold a “talking candle” to the original will be pleasantly surprised.
See alternative reviews at : https://arstechnica.co.uk/the-multiverse/2017/03/beauty-and-the-beast-2017-review/