So on Friday night, opening night, me and the hubby went to see the new live actionBeauty and The Beast film.
Being one of my all time favourite fair tales, stories, Disney’s, songs and characters I was so excited to see it – I also pre-booked my tickets as far in advance as Cineworld would let me. I love anything to do with Belle and the whole story, having read every retelling of the story and watched every spin off series or films – such as Once Upon A Time, Beastly, Beauty and the Beast CBS series, Beauty book by Robin McKinley, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. So you get the picture – I love Beauty and the Beast! I even had it for one of my wedding table centre pieces!
The cast was so well chosen and were prefect for their roles – Luke Evans as Gaston, Emma Watson as Belle, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts and Stanley Tucci. Everyones voices were also so brilliant and totally fit the characters!
The film also gives us a more modern day update – with Belle being far stronger and doesn’t just accept her fate and wait to be saved – she tries to escape and also is curious as to why the castle and the people are enchanted.
We also get the opportunity to understand by Belle is so educated for a village girl and where her mother is – although I appreciated the back story for the character development the 45 mins extra given to Belle’s discovery of the reason why he father took her away from her birthplace of Paris and what happened to her mother was one of my least favourite scenes of the film.
The clothing and interior decor of the castle are absolutely breathtaking – I WANT TO BUY A YELLOW DRESS RIGHT NOW!
It felt more like I would expect a French castle of a spoilt Prince to look – even cursed (If you have ever been to Versailles – think of all the gilt and mirrors build by Louis XXIV ‘The Sun King’ and you have the Prince that I have cast in my head). I enjoyed the glimpse we got of the Prince and the balls and frivolity he was used to – when he first was cursed by the Enchantress!
I thought the sets of the village, fields, forests and the castle were perfect!
The banter between all the characters was still as funny as the original, like Gaston and LeFou, Lumiere and Cogsworth.
I loved the villages version of ‘Funny Girl’ about Belle, Belle’s ‘Reprive’ as she runs through the fields were all great and had me thinking back to the original. The taverns version of ‘My What A guy’ was actually brilliant and I enjoyed this version more!
I loved seeing the bond grow between Belle and Beast – there love of books bringing them together. It just felt more believable and human, they even shared some jokes – I really believed how they could fall in love over there shared hobbies and similar family background (Beast’s mother died in similar conditions to Belle’s).
Even as a lover and somewhat connoisseur of the Beauty and the Beast story we got new characters in the form of Stanley Tucci – who is the conductor before he was turned into the Pianoforte who has a wife in the form of Belle’s wardrobe.
So now I get to the things I was missing from the original – ‘Be Our Guest’I was so so excited for my favourite song of the film, but I just felt like Disney decided to cut back on the CGI (whether this was for time or cost I don’t know) but the only real dancing item of the song was Lumiere the Candlestick and maybe some moving chairs, cutlery etc. But nowhere near the spectacular, sparkling display of the cartoon! I mean imagine how many items are on a Royal banquet table – so many things that could have taken part in the song and dance, but sadly didn’t.
Also when Belle goes for her tour around the palace – although spectacular, didn’t seem to have the enchanted feel as per the cartoon, where ever item including the statues and suits of armour turn to watch her pass. Apart from the main characters no other enchanted items really get a look in, which made me not think of the castle as alive but as more a home for housing the items that were!
When Beast shows Belle the library, it is not at all like the film where its just epically vast and something that is given to her as spontaneous gift – they just walk into it, which as my favourite scene and one of the reasons this bookworm loves this tale so much really disappointed me. Ask every bookworm in the world there dream library and they will say Belle’s. Even in Game of Thrones the library gave me more chills than this! 😦
I did love how many of the plot holes left in the book were clarified – like how the heck Belle lifted the Beast onto Phillipe after he saves her from the wolves, how noone went searching for Castle after the Prince was cursed etc. I felt like they had put a lot of thought into ensuring that the story really flowed.
It does however still have it’s own – the original story says ’10 years we were rusting, needing so much more than dusting’ and the spell would end on his 21st birthday -however Beast seemed so much older than 11 when he was cursed.
The Ball scene was absolutely stunning and when Beast is getting ready was so true to the film – so many happy shimmies!
Also go Disney for giving us a Gay character in Le Fou, who isn’t just loyal to Gaston because of his status in the village as a war hero. Le Fou however even grows within the story to say ‘that the real monster here may not be the beast’ and even changes side after realising how evil Gaston is.
We also get a trans character – even if very brief! I also here Disney is not allowing these scenes to be cut from any of its releases around the world – so go Disney for moving with the times and updating the views!
All in all – if I took the film on its own it was very enjoyable and beautiful. I will definitely own it when it comes out! Just don’t expect a improved remake of the original!