Daily archives "March 21, 2017"

Beauty and the Beast ****


Run time: 129 mins

Cert: PG

Summary: In the live action remake of Disney’s 1991 classic, Belle (Emma Watson) finds herself in a castle owned by a mysterious beast (Dan Stevens) and his unique staff. 

The movie begins in a remote village in France, where Belle (Emma Watson) is somewhat bored with her life and dreams of something bigger while warding off the attention of local ladies’ man Gaston (Luke Evans). When her father goes missing, her journey to find him changes her path completely and leads her to the Beast (Dan Stevens) and his castle filled with unusual objects. 

The story is similar to that of the original movie but elements such as Belle and her father Maurice’s (Kevin Kline) backstory and early life of the Beast are fleshed out more, both of which are interesting additions that hold the audience’s attention. 

While Emma Watson may not have been the first actress that sprung to the viewer’s mind to play the lead female, she plays the part well and performs the songs with a singing voice that does them justice. Dan Stevens is unrecognisable behind the effects that transform him into the Beast and is enjoyable to watch while the supporting cast has a wide range of performances from Kevin Kline’s deep portrayal of Maurice to Ewan McGregor’s comic but cringeworthy one as Lumiere. 

The soundtrack adds new songs whilst incorporating new versions of those that were featured in the animated version. Both the musical elements and performances by the cast are enjoyable and fit well with the scenes they feature in. In particular both versions of the title track, one of which is performed by Emma Thompson in her role as Mrs Potts and the other by John Legend and Ariana Grande are excellent pieces of music. 

As a remake of a Disney animated classic that won six Oscars, this movie has a lot to live up to. However it does this very well with its casting, a story that has some minor changes but remains true to the original and a good soundtrack.

Reviewed by Paul Logan