Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Fig.1 Beauty and the Beast (2017) Movie Poster

Beauty and the Beast (2017) was directed by Bill Condon, stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, and follows Disney's recent trend of re-making their animated classics. If you're already a fan of the Disney animation, then this will certainly provide you with a very good experience, along with all the nostalgia for the 1991 original. But is it a good film for a new audience?

Fig.2 Maurice (Played by Kavin Kline) and Belle (Played by Emma Watson)

The entire cast for this film provide strong performances throughout, and so it is easy to enjoy seeing the characters on screen. Some performances, like Luke Evans' portrayal of Gaston, seem a little "over the top" in that they almost seem like an animated character, but this takes nothing away from their character as it suits the tone of the film perfectly, and in the case of Gaston, it makes him much more memorable and makes him a better villain as a result.

The two main characters suit each other well so the relationship that they share progresses in a believable way, which makes it easier for us to connect with them and understand the choices that they make. However, there is one moment where their opinions of each other change almost instantly. Although, the hatred of one another does decrease, this one particular moment makes it seem as if they are now really fond of each other, so where in the previous scene they were shouting at one another, they are now smiling and making jokes. Despite this, their admiration for each other does contribute to a strong and emotional conclusion.

Another criticism, although minor, is the introduction to the film, but more in partciular, the Beast. In the 1991 Disney version, they keep the true identity and appearance of the Beast somewhat ambiguous, so when that film revealed him in his true form, it was a an exciting moment. Where as, in this version, they show him in his entirety, as well as showing his transformation through quick teases and shadows on the wall - these things removed some of the mystery behind the character that would have improved the ending.

Fig.3 Lumiere (Left) and Cogsworth (Right)

As expected, the special effects in the film were fantastic. As you can see from Fig.3, characters like Lumiere and Cogsworth (Played by Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen respectively) provide the film with very likable supporing characters who serve the story well. Their feelings for both Belle and the Beast are clear, as are their reasons to service both. There were a few moments in the film though where the Beast's CGI seemed a bit inconsistent in terms of both quality and overall proportions, which resulted in him being at different heights and sizes from scene to scene. One such example is where we see him lying on a bed, and his arching back and large arms appear a lot smaller compared to the previous scene.

Fig.4 The Beast and Belle

In conclusion, if you are already a fan of the Beauty and the Beast Disney, or even the 1946 French film La Belle et La Bete, the film that the 1991 animation was based upon, then you will definitely enjoy this film. If this is, somehow, the first Beauty and the Beast film that you have seen, or will see on the big screen, then this a great entry point for the tale as old as time.

Illustration List:
Fig.1 Beauty and the Beast (2017) Movie Poster - - (Accessed 22/03/2017)

Fig.2 Maurice (Played by Kavin Kline) and Belle (Played by Emma Watson) - - (Accessed 22/03/2017)

Fig.3 Lumiere (Left) and Cogsworth (Right) - - (Accessed 22/03/2017)

 Fig.4 The Beast and Belle - - (Accessed 22/03/2017)


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