Today I want to talk about the new live-action Beauty and the Beast film, Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite Disney Classic and I was so worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this version, I actually had to stop looking at all the promotional materials as they were making me so anxious about the film because whatever I saw I didn’t like, I was initially really confused about the aesthetic of the film because some outfits seemed like period costumes while others were more modern. However, when I saw the film all that confusion was cleared up and everything tied in together really nicely.
Again I had concerns with this film being a musical because none of the previous live action Disney films have kept in their songs and I think that’s what made them that bit more mature but I think this film manages to maintain its maturer vibe along with the classics songs as well as the new additions. I really loved the new songs as well, Evermore had me in tears it’s so beautiful.
Belle: I loved the portrayal of Belle, her inventing things in order to have more time I thought was so funny and cute and I thought the scene where she’s teaching the little girl to read was adorable.
Maurice: I really like the fact that Maurice was no longer the crazy inventor, I think it made him much more realistic. Hearing him sing about his wife and family as well was so moving. We also got to see more interaction between himself and belle as well which I really enjoyed. One thing that slightly annoyed me about Maurice is in the scene with Gaston where he says something like “Belle will never marry you” It just to me felt a bit harsh and out of nowhere and up until that point Gaston doesn’t seem like a terrible guy. I know that Belle has made her feelings clear and that was probably what Maurice was going for I just think the tone was off.
LeFou: I think LeFou really comes into his own in this film he’s no longer portrayed as the bumbling idiot sidekick, in fact, he actually seems really clued in on everything almost like he’s using Gaston for popularity etc rather than Gaston using him. One thing I didn’t like was him not being able to spell Gastons name when he’s singing, it’s a great gag that works well in the original version however because he seems so much more clever in this version it just seemed silly to me that he wouldn’t be able to read Gastons name I mean it was written in the bar!
Gaston: I thought Gaston’s character arc was kind of confusing. In the beginning he doesn’t seem that bad of a guy, he’s attracted to belle for her dignity, which isn’t a bad reason to fancy someone and he appears to be some sort of war hero also, he also completely listens to Maurice and offers him help when he hears of the Beast, sure he doesn’t fully believe him and he is using it as an opportunity to impress Belle and her family but he does at least entertain the idea but then all of a sudden without much progression he ties up Maurice and leaves him to the wolves, to be honest, there weren’t enough scenes of Gaston turning more and more evil it just seemed to snap that way for plots sake you know?
Beast: The beast became one of my favourite characters in this version, I really enjoyed hearing more about his backstory granted it wasn’t very in depth but I feel like it did clear up a couple of plot holes from the original such as why were the staff transformed as well. While I did like that the beast did seem more educated and as if he did come from royalty I did really miss the scene where Belle is reading to him and teaching him how to read, I understand that the teaching wouldn’t have fitted into this storyline though. I also think we got much more of character progression with this version and see the relationship between himself and belle evolve more also, it felt to me as if they were together over a much longer time period than the original film suggested. Beast stole the show for me he was adorable and funny and just amazing!
Enchantress: In this film version we got to learn much more about the enchantress, to be honest, she didn’t make much of an impact on me, I do like that she had a slightly bigger role and didn’t just disappear after she had cast the spell, she hung around and kept an eye on the village and I think it was cool that she was there in the castle to break the spell despite the last petal falling rather than leaving it up to “magic” if you get me.
Additions to the story:
The Magic Book: The main addition to the story was this magic book that allowed the beast to travel around the world, past, present, etc.. Now I didn’t really understand why the enchantress would give him this, to me seemed to be put there as an excuse for us to learn more about Belles mother, which I did enjoy but I do think they could have just done this using the magic mirror surely.
The Gay Moment: I feel like this was definitely way too hyped up! To be honest I’m not even sure which moment was supposed to be the “gay” one. Was it him wrapping his arms around Gaston during the song or was it where he ended up dancing with another man in the finale, either which way I think people made far to big a deal about, Personally I think if you do want to show an openly gay character, have them be in a same-sex relationship or share a kiss or something, not a half a second clip of dance.
The heartbreaking ending: In addition to loads of new characters in the household staff we see them become more and more inanimate throughout the film as each petal falls, all coming to a heartbreaking climax when the final petal falls and all the objects rush to find/say goodbye to loved ones before losing all traces of their former selves.
There are probably a million and one other things I could mention but I feel like I’ve gone on long enough. To sum up, I truly loved this film, I think it was perfectly respectful to its classic while still making it original.
Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you thought of the film.