Review: ‘Beauty and the Beast’

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Review: ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Maya Morriswala, Staff writer

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Before seeing the “Beauty and the Beast,” I didn’t really understand all the hype surrounding it. It’s just retelling the same old story, right? Dead wrong. This live-action remake of the “tale as old as time” succeeds in accurate retelling while adding more depth and backstory to the characters. Words cannot describe the enchantment of the live-action feature. Although it lost some of the charm of the animated film, it made up for it in the casting, the performance and the music.


I’m pretty sure I don’t have to give the plot due to the immense popularity of Disney princess movies, so I will just jump right into critiques. I can’t really come up with a lot of things to slam the film for, but the one major weakness was the lack of the original charm from the animated feature. Simply, there are some elements of an animated film that one just can’t replicate with actual people and objects. One of the greater disappointments for me was the “Be Our Guest” sequence. For me, it felt like the effects almost tried too hard to be showy, as most of it was added digitally. Though it wasn’t necessarily the filmmakers’ fault, as the missing charm couldn’t be added back even with their multi-million dollar budget, it was still a definite negative.


Despite this, “Beauty and the Beast” still enchants the viewer with literally everything else in the film. Their brilliant cast included Luke Evans, who did an amazing job at portraying the narcissistic villain Gaston, as well as the amazing singer Audra McDonald as Garderobe, Josh Gad as the humorous LeFou and of course, Emma Watson as the gorgeous heroine Belle. With this cast, the film was able to put on spectacular performances of the classic songs which made the music, in my opinion, 10 times better than in the original. I also appreciated the added humor during the musical sequences, because it made the characters seem more human and relatable than in the animated version where the harpsichord plays no wrong notes and the comic relief has no character development.


However, it isn’t a matter of setting the live-action and animated versions of the story against each other by comparing them. If anything, these two versions compliment each other with the animated movie’s charm and wonder and the live-action’s depth, humor and overall ability to convey the human aspects of our favorite characters. A perfect example of this is LeFou, who is Disney’s first LGBTQ character. Though there is plenty of controversy surrounding that for obvious reasons, LeFou’s complexities are given room to shine due to the great writing and Gad’s awesome acting.


In this way, “Beauty and the Beast” doesn’t replace and isn’t overshadowed by its predecessor, but rather enhances the tale through enchantment that ironically stems from realism.


Grade: A

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