Review: “Beauty and the Beast,” the recreation of a timeless tale.
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“Beauty and the Beast” has been known for years now as a classic. It is a timeless love story, and this year marks the 26 year mark since the animation came out.
In honor of that, Bill Condon brought that film to back life again, in an up-to-date twist on this animated musical romantic fantasy, and this time not as an animation.
You may ask how could someone recreate such a classic to be at the high standard of its original film, but I will say after seeing the “Beauty and the Beast” remake, it was done very well. With a $174.8M opening, people are ready to relive “Beauty and the Beast” again in a modern twist, just as I was.
Though, I personally am not a huge animation fan, and always prefer movies with real people, not cartoons and animations, I have always been a fan of “Beauty and the Beast.”
It’s a timeless classic love story, about a young woman falling for a “beast.” Despite his scary looks, Belle falls for him for his charm and care for her. The story includes the classic bad guy, Gaston and is a true definition of a timeless film, anyone can love this fairytale. That’s why I knew it would be hard to recreate such a magical film.
Some of the main differences between this new, and the original “Beauty and the Beast” are, the obvious of course when it comes to the difference in technology. This one is a lot more modern, and the graphics are incredible but obviously, that was expected with the time difference.
Besides that, some real differences in the story line are that this one adds more details about certain things we didn’t know, or maybe realize before.
One change being claims that LeFou, Gaston’s sidekick was portraying some gay affection throughout the film (which by the way I didn’t even notice, but I heard all the uproar about it before even watching this film). Some are saying he was more “affectionate” to Gaston in this film, and maybe even had a crush on him. Leading to Lefou even dancing with another man at the very end, that some claim is a difference among the two films, in that he wasn’t gay in the original.
Other differences were the way Maurice, Belle’s father was portrayed. In the original, Maurice was made out to be a crazy old man, and Belle really took care of him. In this film, he seems to be more normal, and even takes on a different occupation, as an artist. While Belle takes on more of the inventor roll which he previously did. It is similar in the way, that Maurice is completely devoted to, and very much loves his daughter in both films, and would do anything for her, but seems to be more put together in this film.
In this film it also explains the prince, before he becomes a beast and his mean, ignorant demeanor at the beginning a little more. In the original we see him at the beginning as just a rich full-of himself prince. While he still plays that roll in this film, we at least get an explanation of how he got that way. The new film, briefly explains how his father was a mean man, and that’s why he was that way as well, which helps put the whole thing in prospective a little bit.
Some of the biggest differences between this film, and the original were some of the things that actually appeared to be small additions, but made a big difference. In the original, it doesn’t explain much about Belle’s mother, or how she died like it does in the new film. Not to mention this film claims her mother dies from the black plague, which was around in the 1300’s, not the 1700’s-which is the time this film is placed in. So, her mother’s death “by bubonic plaque” seems to be a little off, but hey, at least we got a reason for her death.
They also don’t take a trip to Paris in the original, as they do here either to learn about Belle’s mother.
The new version also gives insight to how the beast feels after Belle has left him to go save her father. Which I think was a great addition. This is when we truly see and understand how the Beast feels for Belle, and is really the only time he truly opens up about her which we don’t really get that deep feeling in the original.
Though, these details maybe don’t seem critical, which is probably why they weren’t in the first film to begin with, they do give you better insights to the characters. To me, it made it all feel even more complete, and answered questions a lot of people had throughout the first film.
Other differences that added to the story line, were that the enchantress who originally casted the spell on the beast at the beginning, was actually a real character in this film, again giving this film more depth and explanation. In the original, she is just there in the beginning to cast the spell and doesn’t return, while in this one she is back again for a minute at the end. She is seen happily enjoying the scene when they all dance and celebrate the curse being broken.
And If you do somehow have any complaints about this film, I can promise it won’t be the actors and actresses portraying each of these distinct characters.
Some huge things that made this recreated film work so well were first off, I felt that the actors/actresses seemed to be perfect for the rolls. One of the biggest issues I think in recreating anything, an original movie, or book are matching people’s true visions, and expectations of the characters. I think this film overall hit the nail on the head on that aspect.
For example, I don’t think there could have been a better person then Emma Watson to play Belle. Despite the fact, I thought about her as Hermine Granger a time or two throughout the film, I mean really, she was made for this roll. She has the perfect balance of a sweet and innocent young lady, but also has the maturity level to play someone of Belle’s intelligence and demeanor and really, I think that’s what made this film so great.
Along with that, Belle’s father Maurice, besides the change of his actions a little bit I think was another great actor for this part. Gaston plays the exact real life image you would imagine him to be, along with his sidekick. Even the beast comes alive in how incredibly real he looks in this film.
Not even just these characters were portrayed well, but even the clock, the tea pot, and the wardrobe, and even small rolls like the ladies in love with Guston on the street in the first musical were really just great interpretations of the real thing. All of these little aspects is what made this film really work.
Though there will always be a place in our hearts for the original Beauty and the Beast, this timeless tale could impress me, and many other viewers in this incredible remake. I think remaking movies, especially ones as classic as this can unquestionably be a difficult thing to get it right, but it seems like this movie did just that, an incredible recreation. It recreated our love for “Beauty and the Beast,” while adding even more of a dynamic and intricate view to it. I think many can love and appreciate the original, and the remake as I know I sure do. A film worth watching for all- previous “Beauty and the Beast” fans, or not.