Beastly Good – Beauty and the Beast Review

Beastly+Good+-+Beauty+and+the+Beast+Review

Elena Horton, Reporter

As years go by, Disney is beginning to restyle old childhood classical favorites more and more. Recently, they’ve remade the tell old tale Beauty and the Beast, originally written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. The story has seen many retellings, but none quite like this.

Beauty and the Beast (2017) is a remake of the tale about a girl named Belle (played by Emma Watson), an intelligent and independent person, who rescues her father from the clutches of a prince now a beast (played by Dan Stevens). She then has to turn him back into a prince before the prince’s rose wilts or else he’ll remain a beast forever. Meanwhile, her father (played by Kevin Klien) gets the village to hunt the beast down in order to rescue Belle.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Getting the good out of the way first- the visuals for this movie are really good. Unfortunately, there are points in time where it’s extremely obvious when a character is in front of a green screen. It wasn’t “90’s-teen-show” bad, but it wasn’t insanely good. The design for the castle captures a Tim Burton feeling to it, especially the garden because of it’s odd shapes and over exaggerated statues.

On the other hand, there’s the character designs in this. There are so many things wrong the CGI in some of the characters, it’s unnerving. First, you have the beast who looks like something out of a fantasy convention. In the animated feature, he looked at least like a beast, something not at all close to human. The design for the beast in this film is just a little too close to human to the point it enters ‘uncanny valley.’ But the creepiness of him in his beastly form makes up for his transformation back to human. You appreciate a lot of his human features more.

The Beast in Beauty and The Beast

Then there’s the CGI used for the castle staff. It was hit or miss honestly. You have great designs for characters like Lumière, which were really creative. But then you have designs like the design used for poor Cogsworth who looked like something out of a horror film. Then you had Mrs. Pot and Chip. Their design was fine, but it was extremely unnerving seeing Belle drink out of Chip, especially with the face on the teacup.

Lumiere and Plumette from Beauty and the Beast

Everyone’s clothes were beautiful, but a large amount of people complained about Belle’s dress since comparatively, with the large budget they had, they somehow managed to make a dress that was no where near the original dress and somehow worse than those who cosplay Belle.

Do your beast!

The acting in the film varies from actor to actress. For instance, Emma’s performance as Belle wasn’t captivating at some points. It was stale at best. While yet, some of her emotional reactions were interesting, it was almost odd how quickly she got used to the staff. Dan’s performance was pretty standard. Nothing that stood out, but it was captivating enough so it would compliment the story line. Out of everything, it comes down to Kevin and Luke (who played Gaston) who’s performances really stood out.

 

Luke’s performance somehow made this depiction of Gaston more despicable than the previous depictions. He was, as a true villain should be, dastardly and cunning. It was as if every second he was spent on screen was dedicated purely to building up a “you love to hate me vibe.”

Gaston and LeFou from Beauty and the Beast

Kevin’s performance made Maurice a little more sympathetic as well. You really saw subtle expressions that made him come alive, such as his reaction to the house staff, what happened when Belle found out about her mother and confronted him, when he saw that Belle was taken away. It was like Kevin WAS Maurice, which sets him apart from the rest of the film.

Maurice from Beauty and the Beast

An Odd One Out

One thing that makes it stand out the most is not only how some characters are depicted, but mostly because of how it was played out.

There were many depiction of LGBT+ and interracial relationships. LGBT more apparent was with LeFou, who is ambiguously gay through the movie. And then eventually, is paired up with Stanley, a villager who is dressed in drag (played by Alexis Loizon) at the very end of the movie. Many people are in qualms with many aspects, like whether or not this should be in a family film, or is this even a good representation of LGBT with LeFou’s general depiction. The movie had been pulled out of several public theaters in countries such as Belgium, Malaysia and many more conservative countries.

Disney Movie Magic

In terms of profit, Beauty and the Beast broke records, grossing with a total of $206,161,124. Compared to other Disney live action princess films, it didn’t make nearly as much as Maleficent ($241,410,378), but it made a few million more than Cinderella ($201,151,353).

Comparison of each previously mentioned movie’s gross profit.

Conclusion

This depiction of some old time favorite characters twisted the story a bit to fit modern audiences, but all in all it still holds up. It’s a romantic story that makes people fall in love with the franchise all over again. There are a few things that could have been improved, like the CGI, some designs, and some of the actor choices were poor. But it makes up for it with brilliant visuals, a few original scores, and moving scenes that managed to make up for the actors chosen.

TL;DR: 8/10, a good film to watch regardless of age group. But for those who are very nit picky about certain details should probably save their money.