Beauty and the Beast at its core is a breathtaking, magical and enticing fairy-tale and Bill Condon’s 2017 live action adaption has stayed true to that.
The 2017 new release features our beloved and quaint protaganist Belle, the ferocious yet charming Beast/Prince, our superficial egotistical hero Gaston and his trusty stead LeFou. And we can not forget about the charming castle residents that present the humour and heart of the movie. Lumière, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Chip, Madame Garderobe, Maestro Cadenza and Plumette (who is originally known as ‘Babette’ in 1991).
Director Bill Condon (Twilight Saga, Dreamgirls), keeps to the script of the original film with only a few significant changes to lead the story into a new generation of viewers.
Emma Watson’s performance as the inquisitive and fearless Belle is impeccable. They are two in one, there are aspects of Emma in Belle that make it seem as though we are just watching Emma be Emma instead of Belle.
Belle’s passion for education and giving other girls around her the same opportunity is everything Emma herself stands for.
The Beast played by, Dan Stevens, adds a new aspect to our beloved character, unlike the 1991 more aggressive beast, our new and improved beast displays a level of innocence and childlike temper – this makes his character easier to sympathise with and ultimately love.
However, I did expect a beast’s voice to be somewhat more menacing, instead we get a mixture of Benedict Cumberbatch and James Earl Jones (Mufasa).
It is said that you should fall in love with someone’s eyes instead of their looks because they don’t age. This is very evident for the Beast as his eyes are the key to his soul and his true identity.
My favourite scene which showcased this was the transformation of the Prince to Beast, we are caught staring at a shot of his beautiful blue, ageless eyes. We see his whole world changing around him but there is still a small sense of hope in his heart (eyes).
The Beast’s library is not only the way to Belle’s heart but it also signifies that education is power. Something that people in Belle’s dainty town didn’t think a woman would need or should possess.
You are most likely going to find yourself singing along to the songs throughout the film but don’t be embarrassed, embrace it. Let that child within you sing to their hearts content. The castle residents are inviting you to be their guest after all.
One thing that I will say is missing from this adaptation is the significance of the mirror. It is the only way the beast has access to the rest of the world. The only way he can be in the world without being seen or judged. It’s also a constant reminder of the life that his is missing out on.
The movie leaves us with all the castle residents being reunited with their loved ones. We also get one last little growl from our trusty prince to remind us that even though he has transformed back to his original self he is not the same prince from before.
Beauty and the Beast has always had a soft spot in my heart. As it was the very first fairy-tale book I ever received. The beauty and magic of this live action adaptation brought me back to my six year old self and I loved every moment.