BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Review; "A Tale As Old As Time Is Given New Life On The Big Screen"
Disney has stumbled upon another great way to make big money with their live-action adaptations of classic cartoons, but as The Jungle Book made clear, they're far from soulless cash grabs. Maleficent and Cinderella are also among those released so far, but the studio's latest - Beauty and the Beast - is arguably their best to date. Anyone familiar with the original will be happy with what this movie delivers, but it's to the credit of director Bill Condon and writers Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos that they manage to keep things feeling fresh so moviegoers aren't left watching a carbon copy of a classic they're no doubt already plenty familiar with. That's something which is helped by the fact that Emma Watson delivers a strong performance elevating Bella above your typical Disney princess, while the addition of new songs alongside all your favourites helps ensure that Beauty and the Beast never feels stale.
Beauty and the Beast is breaking pretty much every March record imaginable, but does it deserve that success? More importantly, does it do the classic tale justice? Find out here...
La La Land set a new benchmark for movie musicals, but the songs here are handled in a very different way. That's because Beauty and the Beast often feels like a stage production, something which makes you feel like you're watching a massively expensive Broadway musical come to life in a very exciting and effective manner. Of course, something you wouldn't find on the stage is top notch CGI, and this movie just so happens to be packed full of that. Dan Stevens' Beast looks excellent, especially in the moments where you can see his mannerisms shine through the effects (it's almost a shame the voice has been distorted, but given his transformation, that makes sense). Equally as fantastic are household items like Lumière, Cogsworth, Chip, and Mrs Potts who have been brought to life by big name stars such as Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson. Going back to those songs for a second, though, and those are all excellent, with "Be Our Guest", "Gaston", and "Beauty and the Beast" among the obvious highlights.
Talking of Gaston, an argument could be made that Luke Evans steals the show here. Yes, Watson is superb as Belle (this movie is so much more than just "Hermione and the Beast"), but the actor's mannerisms and performance makes you feel like you're watching the cartoon come to life. Despite that, his work here is still very much grounded in reality as we get to see what a selfish, vile person he is as the story progresses and his true nature comes to the surface. Josh Gad also deserves a mention as the brilliantly camp LeFou, a fun twist on the character that works surprisingly well.
With Beauty and the Beast, Disney has found all the right elements to ensure that they have a movie worthy of the record-breaking amount it's making at the worldwide box office this weekend. Even non-Disney fans should find something to enjoy here, while those of you who are passionate about the House of Mouse will fall in love with this world all over again thanks to a take on this classic tale which both pays homage to the 1991 original and also offers plenty of new ideas which ultimately helps it stand out the same way The Jungle Book did. The time to be sceptical about these live-action adaptations has come and gone, and after watching Beauty and the Beast, expect to find yourself a million times more excited about the new versions of The Lion King, Dumbo, The Little Mermaid, and more which are all on the way over the next few years.
A tale as old as time is given new life on the big screen in a movie which adults and kids alike should love. Beauty and the Beast exceeds expectations and delivers a truly special cinematic experience.
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