Release Date:- 17th March (UK)
Date Reviewed:- 3D – 17th March – 2D – 19th March
Directed By:- Bill Condon
Emma Watson – Belle
Dan Stevens – Beast/Prince
Luke Evans – Gaston
Kevin Klein – Maurice
Josh Gad – LeFou
It also stars Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Hattie Morahan, Nathan Mack, Ian McKellen
Missing the Plot out as if you don’t know the story to Beauty and the Beast welcome to the 21st Century you’ve missed a lot over the last 25 years (though I thought it was longer since Disney did Beauty as an animation film) but quick recap Handsome prince upsets elderly women by turning her away from his castle after she just offered a Rose as payment and she warns him not to be deceived by appearances and cast a curse on the Prince and the rest of the his servants in the castle; turning the Prince into a Beast and the rest as household objects. The women, an enchantress, leaves the rose in a enchanted state and warns the beast he must learn to love and earn love in return before the last petal falls to return to his previous state or he will stay in present form (Beast) forever and you know the rest, girl meets beast, girl eventually falls for beast, beast becomes Prince etc. 🙂
Lets talk about the cast, starting with Gaston (Solider who wants Belle’s hand in marriage), Luke Evans plays Gaston perfectly as an egoistic ex solider/hunter and this is offset by Josh Gad’s LeFou who follows him like a lovesick puppy, this double act works brilliantly and shows how Disney is moving with the times. Lumiere (Ewan McGregor) & Cogsworth (Ian McKellen) along with Mrs Potts/The Teapot (Emma Thompson) and Chip/Teacup (Nathan Mack) are the main household objects that appear in the castle and serve The Beast and later help Belle to give the Beast a try, all work well and the objects are easy to think of as being people. Maurice (Kevin Kline) – Belle’s eccentric father and very easy to feel sorry for, one having such a intelligent and compassionate daughter and he scenes when he first arrived at the castle was brilliant especially when Chip moves towards him as he sits down at the table.
The Prince/The Beast (Dan Stevens), even though the Beast is a lot CGI he’s personality and character is human and you get the snobbery from being brought up rich but like Belle start to feel for him again especially when he shows his human side after saving Belle from the Wolves and he is hurt, Dan certainly portrayed the Beast beautifully, you probably don’t see enough of the Prince to judge this but how he changes whilst still the beast is easy to see.
Belle (Emma Watson), well what can you say about Miss Watson, she’s just about the perfect Belle, this role just seemed to suit her to a tee, Her voice was beautiful and fitted the songs, she has the youthful energy that Bella has to go with the beautiful looks that a Disney Princess have and that smile, when she was having dinner for the first time at the Castle when the objects sang Be Our Guest, had me feeling like that Smile, it was such a warm loving smile. It was perhaps the best lead I’ve seen in a long time.
Now the Film, I watched it the first time in 3D and some of the 3D scenes where brilliant like when Belle throws a snowball at the Beast and he then throws a bigger one at Belle, in the effects the bigger snowball actually comes towards you and I actually ducked! In 2D you do sense you miss something after seeing it in 3D however I don’t think by watching it in 2D it changes the film so perfectly fine to do this.
The way the Beast starts to win over Belle and the way Belle starts to develop feelings for the beast is done well, they start to bond over books and then when the Beast shows Belle an enchanted book the enchantress left and asks where she wants to go in the world; she goes back to Paris with the Beast to her childhood home and the Beast helps fill in the blanks of her Mother’s death, this seems to be the turning point for both and then the Beast releases her to rescue her father, he has complete the circle to love her and when she’s freed it seems Belle has now started to feel the same.
Watching the film I felt like I was a child again and not many movies do this, and I generally loved that film, not having any worries or cares and I was under Emma’s spell for most of the movie and I can’t praise her performance enough, the last time one performer made me feel like this was Brie Larson in Room.
Best Parts of the film for me, Emma’s (I’ve put Emma here rather than Belle as not sure if another actress would have the same smile) smile during the Be Our Guest Dinner Scene (as mentioned), the Snowball fight (only brief) between Belle and the Beast. Bella hitting the Candelabra with the stool.
Not sure why Belle’s leggings (not sure if there is a correct name for these) had me fascinated I think might be me trying to work out what was printed on them (update after watching it in 2D, at first I thought was a bird but then thought maybe a lighthouse, I can see it’s blue perhaps I’ll have to tweet Emma and Beauty and the Beast Twitter to ask)
Watching it again in 2D I noticed I missed things out or forgotten things from seeing it the first, mainly the significance of the Rose, I expect this was just my mind playing tricks, I always knew about the Enchanted Rose, but Belle liked Roses, she remembered one (perhaps from a painting) from her Childhood and she had a Rose rattle as a baby and the Beast captured her father for stealing one from the Castle grounds.
I know some parts of the world there is bad press for the Movie due to Josh’s character LeFou who is Gay, personally I think it’s part of the film and I think helps the film and honestly I think Disney have done this correctly and I can’t see how it causes any issues.
9.5/10 – I so wanted to give this a 10/10 as I fell in love with the film and not often get besotted by an actress, I don’t care if you’re 5 or 105 go and watch this film, you will forget about any worries or cares for 2 hours and that what a Movie should do.