Beauty and the Beast
Director: Bill Condon
Disney was such a large part of my childhood, where most of my days were spent watching countless Disney film after Disney film – wishing that the princesses and loveable characters were real. I absolutely loved the original Beauty and the Beast (1991) with Lumiere being my favourite character, I had a childhood crush on him, yes I know he’s a candlestick but he was a very alluring candlestick (that’s a sentence that is now immortalised on the internet forever). So this film had a lot to live up to and after watching the trailer of the live-action remake and hearing the piano rendition of Beauty and the Beast and knowing Emma Watson was going to be Belle, I was incredibly excited. I watched this film with two of my friends and I loved EVERY minute of it, definitely not a disappointing live-action remake.
I was hoping that in this remake they would keep the songs from the original and they did exactly that which made my 8 year old heart so happy. I know a lot of people had doubts about Emma Watson’s singing but I thought her light voice complimented the role of Belle perfectly. I really appreciated the slight tweaks they made to the original songs like in ‘Gaston’ where I thought Lefou’s (Josh Gad) lines were hilarious. I also liked how Lefou’s role in the film was more prominent than in the original which was quite a nice touch as it was another character to love.
On the topic of songs, the new songs which were introduced in this song were so beautiful and a nice touch to introduce a back story that was missing from the original film, where we could understand more about Belle’s childhood and therefore her relationship with her father and the reason for her mother’s death. Also incorporating the Beast (Dan Stevens) into the part where he takes Belle back to her childhood home, where she understands the truth from her childhood, added a nice sentimentality and depth to Belle and the Beast’s relationship as it shows how he was beginning to soften up and feel kinder towards her. So now, the soundtrack has been on repeat since watching the film because it has such a nostalgic lovable vibe to it and I can’t stop listening to it. (Well done Disney – again!)
I feel like it’s only important to mention the transformation of each of the household appliances: Cogsworth, Lumière, Mrs Potts, Chip, Madame Garderobe, Maestro Cadenza and Froufrou, they were made so much more human in this film. I know this sounds ridiculous considering it was a live-action remake but lots need to to be said for special effects in this film, especially for the Beast which was I thought was incredibly done. The casting for each of these roles were so befitting having Ewan McGregor voicing Lumière, who was just as sarcastic and witty as the original and hilarious alongside Ian McKellen voicing Cogsworth. Also Emma Thompson voicing Mrs Potts was totally unrecognisable but still conveying the motherly spirit of Mrs Potts. Her rendition of Beauty and the Beast was enough to shed a tear in the name of nostalgia – definitely speaking from experience.
I’m not going to lie, there were also tears as the film ended, I can reassure you they were good tears, it was such a beautiful film. 8 year old Beth that is still a part of me was just really emotional at seeing her childhood being remade into something this incredible. I feel like I’m biased by saying that I loved this film because it was a childhood favourite and another Disney film, so it’s unlikely that I’d have said anything bad about it, but it’s a light family film that I reckon will become as well-loved as the original. So much love for this film.