Beauty and the Beast 2017 Review

★★☆☆

I’ve waited for this for soooo long, when they cast Emma Watson as Belle I was so excited and nervous at the same time. I think it’s a great film for her to establish another well known character besides Hermione Granger, I didn’t get around to rewatching the 1991 animated version however director Bill Condon really helped refresh my memory as well as making new ones.  Animated films these days are so fast paced that you really realise how advanced peoples attention spans have become so in that sense the film is quite slow and not as action packed as some may think it is but I didn’t mind that.

All your favourite songs still remain as well as some new additions that I didn’t really believe were necessary just because this is going to sound stupid but the film to me just has songs in it… I wouldn’t class it as a full on musical and at times I did start to yawn but if that’s your kind of thing… then great! A lot of people have got onto the subject of autotune with Emma Watson and I just think people should leave her alone… She never confessed to being a low key Mariah Carey.  She also doesn’t sing for too long and I think she sounds quite sweet not an overload of notes trying to be met.

Watson as Belle really was quite relaxed and not as showy as the animated Belle which made her a lot more realistic. Watson also refused to wear a corset like the one Lily James wore as Cinderella in 2015, it was also refreshing to see she didn’t have a pushed up, suffocated cleavage.  This made me look at Belle in a different light, before I would place her alongside the other princess characters Disney have adapted however she seems a lot more admirable just as Mulan is. It’s not to the extent of fighting for her families honour but Belle is challenging issues that are still current in todays world… she’s the only girl who reads in her village and in one scene encourages another little girl to start and they think she is crazy for it!

It’s obviously Harry Potter’s influence as to why I’m so protective over Emma Watson and I don’t even know her so no matter how bad the film was… I’ll never admit to it (it wasn’t bad just not great). Before seeing the film I managed to catch some of the behind the scenes (watch here) which makes acting look awkward AF especially due to the use to CGI in the film. Obviously Emma is an actress but it looks even more challenging when the rest of your cast don’t really exist much like the Jungle Book remake last year. I’d have liked to see more of Belle and the Beast interacting and making each other laugh because those moments really came through when they did happen. They also could have emphasised Belle’s love for books slightly more, I think they just made her hold a book and then thought “they already know it’s okay!”

We get to see a bit more of the backstory behind the Beast and how lavish his lifestyle was that led him to be cursed along with the rest of his household. There was some serious Marie-Antoinette vibes, I personally hate the make up… it scares me and ruined Dan Stevens. The fairytale was published a year after Marie-Antoinette was born however I don’t think they needed to go so hard with the costumes and make up…. I’m not sure anyone from a peasant village would be able to afford food let alone the clothes some of them flaunted.  I did like the contrast between the worlds of the village where everything was bright and then the dark castle that is eventually restored. I felt slightly sorry for the Beast and when you could see his facial expressions he was really funny however at times it was more or less his silhouette.

I’m fully aware Beauty and the Beast was originally a French fairytale and this is something films do a lot, accents are all over the place and the language choice is subjective. We learn that Belle’s father fled from Paris due to her mothers sickness of the plague and then we end up in a small farmers village. Belle is British, her fathers British, Gaston is British, the whole town is British with a few French words thrown in. The film was shot in the UK and I understand globally it’s easier to sell by using English but then how does LeFou end up to be American?! I’m being picky but I find that so messy the similar problem happens in 2007 with Ratatouille. 

Speaking of LeFou… I’m not sure why it’s so controversial for him to be gay because like many have said, he always could have been gay. As a child I can’t remember really noticing anything and I think the issue here is people don’t overtly express a character to be straight so why does there need to be such a major topic by the media that “oh he might be gay or is gay” It’s not a big deal… one thing I would say though is that it makes LeFou more likeable because you want him to get his man! At the same time why would anyone want to be with Gaston so you root for him either way.

I saw some pretty strong comments on YouTube about it, one comment that stood out was it sort of takes the idiocy away from both LeFou and Gaston because then you feel for them. I think it would have been just as interesting to have them both as macho idiots so then you hate them even more and it would make them even more disgusting but there was nothing wrong with this LeFou everyone should relax! Luke Evans was a dickhead but I think he could have been even more of a dickhead, it was only until the end did he really make me sick.

The sets were so beautiful! They should make an exhibition with both set and costumes/props.They had an amazing cast which you don’t really get to see due to their animated counterparts which looked as realistic as animation can get. Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci on board which does make the film unmissable and ultimately who can turn down Disney… not me 🙂

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