Review of 'Beauty and the Beast'

beauty_and_the_beast.jpg This live action remake of the 1991 animation “Beauty and the Beast” sees the young girl Belle (Emma Watson) living in a small provincial town in France dreaming of living in a larger world. She is being pursued by the narcissistic hunter/former war captain Gaston (Luke Evans) despite Belle expressing no interest in him whatsoever. When Belle's father comes across a seemingly abandoned castle in the middle of the forest he picks a rose and the owner is not happy…Years before a spoiled and self Prince (Dan Stevens) was put under a spell by an enchantress when he shows now compassion for his fellow man. Turned into a beast with his court turned into various bits of animated household effects they will remain this way unless the Prince is able to find someone that will love him. Belle travels to the castle and offers herself in trade for her father who the beast has thrown into a jail. Will the beast be able to break his spell…

As opposed to the recent The Jungle Book this remake keeps much of the music of the original animation but adds a degree of emotional and story depth the original lacked. The effects, as would be expected, are amazing but stop short of being completely life like which is consistent with the fairy-tale story. Though a fairly heavy theme the story is kept light with the frequent songs and dance numbers with fun and enjoyable characters.

Watson plays a wonderful Belle and has a great singing voice. Similarly Stevens plays the beast with a degree of nuance that the role requires quickly tuning down the initial violence as he becomes closer to Belle. The list of supporting character actors is quite considerable with Ewan McGregor as the affable candelabra Lumière and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Lumière's carriage clock companion.

Good family fun with great music and uplifting story.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2017-07-05

Directed by: Bill Condon

Studio: Mandeville Films

Year: 2017

Length: 129 minutes

Genre: Fantasy

Other reviewed films by Bill Condon: