With the trend of making live action remakes, Disney makes the bold move to reimagine one of the most beloved movies of all time, “Beauty and the Beast.” The original classic came out in 1991, making history by being the first animated movie to ever be nominated for best picture at the academy awards. In 2017, we have Bill Condon at the helm directing this film, previously known for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 & Part 2.” Because of his past, I was skeptical, but, because of the rest of the team behind him, I still had hope. And this film did not disappoint.
To start with the cast, they were all magnificent in their roles. Emma Watson is pure magic as Belle. She brings a gentility while still being headstrong. This Belle will be a good role model for any young woman. And a plus—who knew Emma Watson could sing so well?? Dan Stevens plays the Beast; he’s easy to buy into because of his aggressive nature, but he demonstrates tender moments. Gaston, played by Luke Evans, seems almost similar to the animated classic. Josh Gad plays the maybe-controversial Lefou, and he is excellent in this role. His humor is perfectly timed and well written. Lumiere is portrayed by Ewan McGregor; like Gaston, this is a perfect embodiment of the 1991 animated film. I honestly do not think that they could have casted this any better.
To continue with the positives, where this movie shines is its big musical numbers that had almost everyone in the theater singing along. Some of these scenes included the songs “Gaston” and the cherished “Be Our Guest.” I Guarantee one of these two songs will be stuck in your head long after the movie. No one will ever forget the first time they saw “Beauty and the Beast” in 1991 and saw that yellow dress that Belle wore. That iconic dance scene also held up in 2017.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed this magic tale, it was not a flawless film. This movie runs at a total of 2 hours and 10 minutes long, and in the middle of the movie you start to feel that length. There are new songs in this movie, written by the same composer from the original in 1991, the legendary Alan Menken. I found some of these new songs quite jarring, and did not really know how I felt about it until I left the theater. They seemed shoehorned-in and unnecessary, not to mention that the Beast did not have the best voice. It was also much darker than I anticipated. I saw a parent had to leave with her young child after some of the tenser parts.
Overall, this movie had you reminiscing while still putting a fresh face on a very familiar timeless tale. I think this film will appeal to almost all audiences. Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (2017) is something they should be proud of; this must have been quite a feat trying to remake this all-time beloved story. Final rating: 9.1 out of 10.