“Through the darkest of our troubles; Love is beauty, love is pure” hums Céline Dion, as this romantic musical progresses.
Beauty and the Beast, is a 2017 remake of Disney’s 1991 animated film of the same name, that is an adaptation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s eighteenth-century fairy tale.
Set in Bourbon-era France, a young beautiful woman, Belle, is imprisoned in a spellbound castle by a fearsome Beast, who in reality, is a prince cursed by an enchantress as recompense for his arrogance and hubris. She is also pursued by Gaston, a narcissistic former soldier who wants her hand in marriage, leading to a confrontation with the Beast.
The live action version of Beauty and the Beast is just as bewitching and delightful as the animated version, if not even more, featuring an ensemble cast that includes Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the nominal characters along with Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson and others in supporting roles.
Differences such as making Belle more than a bookworm, detailing Belle’s tragic backstory, adding characters such as Cadenza, a musician turned harpsichord who’s married to Madame de Garderobe, i.e, the wardrobe; explaining the Beast’s vile behaviour, making Maurice an artist, adding a ballad to the Beast’s role, increasing the heinousness of Gaston’s character etc., make for a more intriguing and detailed Disney motion picture.
The surprising detail that has been added to the live action version is the amplified characteristic of the Enchantress whose only part of the prologue in the animated version but whereas, she plays a larger role in the motion picture.
This was also the first time that an LGBT moment has been portrayed in a Disney film where LeFou displays his affection for Gaston and at the end of the picture, during the ball he dances with another man. This has been displayed as an exclusive moment for Disney in terms of progress and generation development.
The more interesting view of Beauty and the Beast is the diversity displayed among the characters showing astonishing progressive views for a time period of France in that era. The inter-racial couples and the coloured actors in their gorgeous displays are a sight to behold in the film.
The screenplay written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos ties up loopholes spotted in the animated version such as how did the villagers not know about the castle’s presence until they found out about the Beast’s existence through the enchanted mirror and so on.
In terms of the equation between Belle and the Beast, the banter between them shows regard to literature with their view on Shakespeare and how they interact about Belle’s love for books.
Their similarity of self-isolation upon the fear that they are different from the rest of the people they are surrounded by, immolates their relationship.
The music is simply wonderful to listen to and Alan Menken does a splendid job in converging the lyrics, the background and the voices of the actors to the setting of the film.
All in all, a well deserved happily ever after has never seemed more appropriate for a fairy tale.
[Review by Srreya K.]Beauty and the Beast Movie Review Movie Review Beauty and the Beast