I finally, finally got around to seeing the new Beauty and the Beast film!
The film was unbelievably beautiful in terms of colour and design. From the opening scene I was already obsessed with the rich colours. I’m so happy they chose to show Adam (YES the Beast has a legit name, it’s Adam) before he’s turned by the enchantress. His ball outfit and makeup absolutely slayed, can I just say. It took me a while to realise that Matthew from Downton Abbey (played by Dan Stevens) was the Beast! I knew I recognised his voice and his lip movements (bit weird, I know) but I couldn’t place him. When it clicked it made me genuinely laugh out loud, but he is perfect and pretty damn sassy in the role.
Speaking of laughing, I genuinely laughed out loud at several points! This film was funny. Genuinely. Please look out for a moment right at the end when a piano is pummelling a mob member (not really a spoiler if you’ve seen the original). The piano is playing the funeral march with his keys while he’s fighting. I don’t know why it tickled me so much, but it did. The film is full of little treats like that so I could happily watch it ten times over.
A massive honourable mention goes to LeFou for sure. Josh Gad does an impressive job at bringing a likeable quality to his character and he genuinely has fun with the role. I clapped with glee at two moments in the film: firstly, when a male character is dressed in typically feminine clothing by the animated wardrobe (Audra McDonald!) and smiles happily instead of screeching like the other two male characters who also receive the makeover. Secondly, when LeFou ends up dancing with the aforementioned male character. I definitely think the backlash against the homosexual references in Beauty and the Beast is absolute bullshit a) because it’s not even that in your face and b) because it’s 2017 and homophobia is ridiculous.
On a happier note, I was really impressed with Emma Watson. I was concerned at first because I thought a less well-established actress could have been wonderful in the role. However, Emma Watson brought grace and intelligence to the role. I am obsessed with the decision to make Belle into the inventor instead of her father, her washing machine was whimsical and brilliant. If I’m not mistaken, the suggestion for this switch came from Watson herself which is pretty fabulous.
My favourite addition by far was the ‘enchanted book’ which allowed Adam (he’s not a beast really so I’ll stop calling him that) to travel to any place he desired. I would have loved to have seen a little more of the book, e.g. surely Belle could have used it to return to her father? But anyway, I loved the book because it solved one of my major issues with the original film. Belle sings about wanting more than a provincial life and expressly says she wants to travel and experience more of life. In the original film she ends up in a giant castle married to a prince – not exactly fulfilling her dreams of travelling! This book would enable the pair to travel everywhere together and makes it much more plausible that Belle would have actually fallen for Adam.
The costume design, casting, and score for this film were all absolutely outstanding in my opinion. I especially loved Belle’s final white and floral dress, I’d love to get married in something similar when the time comes!
I know a lot of people aren’t a fan of this trend of remaking animated films into live-action features, but Beauty and the Beast is probably my absolute favourite classic Disney film and I had to give it a go. I’m so glad I gave the film a chance because the trailers and small snippets did not do it justice. I would highly recommend getting yourself to the cinema pronto.