I saw Beauty and the Beast last week and was more than happy to be their guest. I really liked that the opening introduction stayed truer to the original story than the 1991 animated film. Instead of the Beast appearing because Belle’s father trespassed Maurice is jailed for taking a rose. This was a nice spin, however, Dan Stevens in a powdered wig while he rejects the rose was a bit comical.
The magic starts not at the enchanted castle, but when Emma Watson emerges as Belle and sings good day to the audience. The songs, like in the cartoon are magical and fun, I also enjoyed the new songs, Dan Stevens was dreamy singing forevermore and added an orginality to the film.
I was worried I would picture Dan Stevens and Emma Watson as their most recognizable roles, Matthew Crawley and Hermione Granger, but that fear was put to rest immediately. They embodied these beloved characters showing a vulnerability to each that slowly brings out the best in each other and despite it being a “tale as old as time” their love story had me yearning for the conclusion.
Gaston and LeFou played off each other perfectly. Gaston was the pompous ass I knew as a child but liked how LeFuo grew a conscious and changed as a character in this version. He was always an under-developed role and am glad they expanded his part.
Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen where superb as Mrs. Potts, Lumière and Cogsworth, they brought life to the castle and expanded the hope of Belle and the Beast’s relationship. Ian McKellen also delivered my favorite line as he reunited with his wife “Turn back into a clock, turn back into a clock.” this bit of humor caught me off guard and had me smiling.
The scenery and costumes matched Belle’s name and were simply beautiful. The costumes while reminiscent to the 90s were unique enough to stand on their own and the sets were nothing short of a fairy tale.
My one complaint was that with the exception of Ewan McGregor the cast spoke with english accents when bonjour! it takes place in France. In the end, the ballroom scene was everything I had hoped for and overall was a wonderful experience.