‘Be Our Guest!’
Beauty and the Beast is the live action version of the 1991 Disney film of the same name, and it follows the story of a young woman named Belle (Emma Watson) who is taken prisoner by a fierce Beast (Dan Stevens) in a castle to save her father, and befriends many of the castle’s staff, including a candle called Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), a clock called Cogsworth (Ian McKellan) and a teapot called Mrs Potts (Emma Thompson) and her son Chip (Nathan Mack). It also stars Luke Evans as Gaston and Stanley Tucci as the organ.
I went to watch the movie at the cinema with my older sister, and apart from the parents of the children watching the film, we were the oldest people in the cinema. My one criticism of this movie is the fact that it uses Stockholm Syndrome as a main motivation to move the story on, though I have avoided reviews before and indeed after watching the film. Likewise, it is a rather good live action remake. Emma Watson was brilliant as Belle, and I previously saw her in Perks of Being a Wallflower and Harry Potter, the latter of which was a huge part of my childhood, along with the animated version of the Beauty and the Beast. The scene where Belle arrives at the ball in the iconic yellow dress reminds me of the Yule Ball scene in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, though I watched Besuty and the Beast with that in mind. It was great to see some of my favourite actors (including Ian McKellan, who plays Gandalf in Lord of the Rings) in a spectacular version of a childhood classic. My favourite part was the bit when the Beast gives her a library, and maybe the ball scene, and the castle looked wonderful. The cinematography was incredible, and Dan Stevens brought his charm to the character of the Beast (along with his lovely blue eyes). I did hope that Gaston and Lefou would end up together as I heard something about a gay subplot long before I watched the film. Though I don’t watch that much of Luke Evans’ work, he did play a better Gaston than the one in the 1991 original.
My sister and I knew most of the songs off by heart, and she ended up singing some as we grew up with the original. It’s good to do a good Disney original justice, along with adding a bit of backstory, instead of ruining it entirely. It was also good to play guess the actor when all the inanimate objects became real people at the end. I think this is the first movie that Ewan McGregor has sung in since Moulin Rouge (2001), which is also another great movie.
Overall, it’s worth a watch. Maybe multiple viewings if you must. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s supposed to be for children.