Disney’s tale of love, a tale as old as time, finally received the live-action adaption that fans have long awaited. Though the tale is old, fans of Beauty and the Beast in a variety of ages filled theaters across the globe.
The 2-hour and 19-minute movie kept audiences enraptured in the pure magic directed by Bill Condon, best known for his work on the sets of Dreamgirls and the final two installments of the Twilight Saga.
A story so familiar to millions was amazingly redone to introduce new elements and dramatize the most iconic of scenes, all delivered by an expertly chosen cast.
Similar to the beloved cartoon original, the adaptation begins with a spoiled prince and a village bookroom, and ends with a kind-hearted prince and a castle bookroom.
However, this rendition of Beauty and the Beast emphasizes Belle’s intelligence, which extends far beyond her knowledge of literature; exaggerates Gaston’s machismo, casting him in a light far more villainous than the original would allow; and expresses the emotions of the Beast, played by Dan Stevens, and his servants far more explicitly, giving them each a unique background the audience could fall in love with.
The well-known scenes of the original receive the justice they deserve in this rendition: the audience gasped and sung along to the well-known “Be Our Guest” scene while Lumiere, played by Ewan McGregor, commanded dusters to fly, plates to dance, and presented Belle, played by Emma Watson, with delectable dishes she would ultimately never taste in the grandeur of the dining room presentation.
There’s also much to be said about the newer elements the movie offers. Among these elements stands the controversy surrounding the appearance of homosexuality in a children’s movie.
Although highly criticized, the scenes don’t distract from the main plot. Instead, the scenes add to the humor of the movie as Lefou, who is played by Josh Gad, gets too close for comfort to Gaston who is played by Luke Evans. Later, one of the villagers rather enjoys the makeover he receives from Madame Garderobe, instead of running away and screaming at the fact that he is wearing a dress.
On the other hand, the backstories introduced left many audience members in tears as they learned their favorite cartoon characters are now as alive and human as they are. Some of the most heartbreaking scenes are the glimpses into the story of Belle’s mother, previously unaddressed in the original, and the Beast’s past, which explain how he allowed prejudice to overcome him until he met the Enchantress.
Though perfectionists may dislike the movie for changing a story they knew so well, loyal Disney fans will marvel at the gold and blue centered cinematography, elaborate musical numbers previously never seen, and awe-inspiring stunts executed by the actors.