I understand I am slightly late to the party regarding my review of the superbly acclaimed live action Beauty and the Beast, but I can promise you I have already seen the movie twice on opening weekend. But sadly only once on the release day – I’ve just been too busy to actually sit down and find the time to write my review. Which is a shame because I have spent the last week bursting with love for this wonderfully magical movie.
I have been counting down the days for this movie to be released for years now so it’s safe to say I was excited whilst sat in the cinema waiting for it to start. Not only was I excited, but almost nervous as I was worried it wouldn’t be everything that I hoped it would be.
Luckily, Disney once again did not disappoint me. From the moment the movie started I had tingles running like electrical sparks down my spine and my eyes had begun to overfill with tears from my emotional connection to the movie. Initially, I was slightly thrown by the start as it was so different from the original especially seeing the Beast as the Prince in all of his glory, but I soon allowed myself to settle into the scenes and became wonderfully immersed into the well-known story.
Emma Watson was an absolutely captivating Belle, she was strong minded, fearless and of course the biggest book-lover we will ever see in the fairytale world. My entire life I have become who I am because of the character Belle so to see her portrayed perfectly was a wonder for my childhood and my inner bookworm/heroine. Although I was unsure of Emma Watson’s singing in the trailers, I soon became comfortable and almost delighted with some of the beautiful notes she was hitting, especially in ‘Days in the Sun’.
This leads me on to how the new songs ‘Days in the Sun’, ‘Evermore’ and ‘How Does a Moment Last Forever’ perfectly wove into the mix of the original songs. I was reminded of Alan Menken’s pure genius when the new songs delighted my ears, but even more so when snippets of ‘Home’ (from the Broadway Musical) had been added into the score – it definitely made me weep that little bit harder! I bought the deluxe soundtrack the day it was released from HMV for £12.99 and avoided listening to it until I’d seen the movie and I was so glad that I waited. Of course, the soundtrack is now firmly in my car and will be on repeat for many, many months.
I was absolutely surprisingly delighted when I realised I too had fallen in love with not just Belle, but the Beast. Dan Steven’s portrayal of the well-loved character was brought to life in a new yet also nostalgic way that made my heart soar and yearn for Belle and Beast to finally share that mightily anticipated kiss that breaks the spell. I adored Beast’s eyes, smile and of course…’Evermore’! What’s not to love?
However, I shall note that I was slightly shocked at how evil Gaston is in the remake. I completely understand that he is the villain of the story and being a live action movie of course they are mainly aimed at adults but Gaston’s near murder of Maurice absolutely shocked me. Despite this, I loved it all the same, I just don’t know how keen I would be to take young children to see it (if I had any).
Of course there was moments from the original that were missing, but so many new moments/back stories had been added that I nearly didn’t think twice about the moments that had been missed. I adored that Maurice was an artist and instead Belle was the inventor, it emphasised how intelligent and different she was compared to her meek villagers. I also loved the added context of the magical book that the Enchantress gifted the Beast and how they traveled back to Paris to discover the story of Belle’s mother.
Being a massive Musical Theatre fan I was nearly screaming at the heightened dance scenes in ‘Gaston’ and ‘Be Our Guest’. I loved every song so much I felt like I needed to perform a standing ovation at the end of every single one!
I would also like to mention that I am extremely proud of Disney for keeping up with the constantly moving times by adding a ‘gay’ scene into the movie. Personally, I found the scene so minuscule that if you didn’t know it was there beforehand, you would have missed it or taken it as a joke – which is completely understandable. But, despite some cinemas in America and Asia deciding not to show it due to this near 10 second clip, Disney powered through encouraging all of us to be ourselves.
I absolutely adore everything about this movie, I honestly feel as if I could write a 40,000 word essay on everything wonderful about it and why it’s so ahead of its time. If you are a Disney fan, a Beauty and the Beast fan, or even just a movie fan, you must see this movie. I have already seen it twice and at the end of both couldn’t wait to see it again!
What was your favourite part of the movie if you’ve seen it? Let me know in the comments below! I shall link my review on the Disney Store merchandise for the movie here too in case you missed it.