A Review of “Beauty and the Beast”

 

Disney’s new live-action version of the classic “Beauty and the Beast” just hit theaters. Its cast is an array of stars, including Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gaad as Lefou and Kevin Kline as Maurice, among the others who voiced the animated objects (and appeared in the movie briefly).

I love the original “Beauty and the Beast,” and this one was not a disappointment. Emma Watson is my favorite actress, so I already thought she was going to make the perfect Belle. I was right. She is everything you could hope for, plus more – she is the inventor in this version, instead of her father, adding feminist undertones (which are always needed!). The cinematography was gorgeous – everything was so beautiful, the songs were stellar and the actors were spot-on in their interpretations. It follows the original movie’s plot without leaving anything out, but it adds more.

This movie fixes some of the plot holes in the original. It adds much more backstory about Belle’s mother and some about the Beast. It addresses why it’s sometimes summer and sometimes winter in the cartoon, which is a little confusing because it seemes to switch a lot. The plot is almost the same, but adds more depth than the cartoon, and it’s all the better for it.

There are a few new songs in this movie, which I was worried about, but I thought they were wonderful additions to the movie. Belle’s father sings one song called “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” when reminiscing about her mother. (It’s sung by Celine Dion in the credits as well.) Belle and the objects sing a song called “Days in the Sun,” about being human again and being free. And, my favorite addition, the Beast sings a song called “Evermore,” after Belle leaves the castle. The original songs were also done well The actors had the right voices for the characters, and they stayed true to the original versions.

Gaston and Lefou were behind some of the best parts of the movie. Luke Evans made a perfect Gaston (and was oh so much hotter than the cartoon version). At first, it seemed like he was going to be nicer than portrayed in the cartoon, but he ends up being even more evil.

Lefou was the spot-on comical sidekick – and the talk of “gay undertones” prior to the film’s release were extremely blown out of proportion. I was hoping there would have been a stronger depiction in the movie. Regardless, Josh Gaad made a very good Lefou.

Dan Stevens’ Beast was a spitting image of the one in the cartoon in terms of personality, and I couldn’t get over how perfect his voice was – it was very similar to the cartoon Beast’s voice. And Emma Watson – I already said she made the perfect Belle, and she did. She had Belle’s attitude, intelligence and selflessness. But let’s be honest, Emma Watson is perfect in basically everything she does.

Overall, if I had to rate the movie, I would give it a 10/10. Not only did I have tons of fun watching it, but it made me feel every emotion. Please go see it in theaters – you will not regret it!