Beauty and the Beast (Live-Action) Review

 

IMDB Synopsis: An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

Disney has so far succeeded with their live action remakes to varying degrees but Beauty and the Beast is their first real test and for the most I feel like it works. I knew this was going to be a difficult movie to make, riding that fine line between being faithful to original animated version while adding something new to warrant its creation in the first place. WIth it's excellent cast and it's ability to pull at the heartstrings I really enjoyed this movie even with its slight missteps.

The story is pretty much a beat for beat replica of the original movie with some slight alterations and some added backstory for the characters. All the added stuff is where the movie lost me a little bit. I understand that it would have been a waste to just remake it shot for shot and while as a huge Disney nerd I really liked learning more about the characters it really came at the cost of the pace of the movie. The one thing added that I really loved was the idea that the enchanted servants all become inanimate objects when the last petal fell. This created much higher stakes and emotional investment for the servants and it really hits hard towards the end. The casting was incredible. Emma Watson was a great choice for Belle, although I don’t know this for sure, her singing sounded a bit auto tuned but I didn’t really mind it. I loved all the servants, Ewan McGregor, Ian Mckellan and Emma Thompson were all fun and really embodied their characters! Josh Gad as Lafou was an inspired choice, showing quite a range just in this movie alone. He goes from a goofy idiotic underling to someone that really starts to think for himself and question if what he’s doing is right. Gad is seriously an underrated actor. Visually this movie was a mixed bag for me. It’s painfully obvious when the scenes are shot on a real stage and when the environment is completely CGI. The Beast also didn’t sell me either. His fur and clothing didn’t look as realistic or detailed as I’d like which is particularly unfortunate especially considering how insanely good the CGI was for the live action Jungle Book last year.

This is coming from a huge fan of this movie but I really enjoyed watching Disney try and fix every plot hole and consistency big or small from the original. I feel like tried to fill every hole from the big ones like the timeline of events to how Belle got an unconscious Beast onto a horse by herself. I could probably list a dozen of them and it was actually fun finding them. The thing I loved the most of this movie is just how much I anticipated all the iconic scenes being recreated for live action. Every time I knew one of those was coming my heart started pumping and they did not disappoint!

The live action remake of Beauty and the Beast had a really high bar to clear and while it doesn’t exceed it it does an admirable job at trying to recapture original movies' greatness. This movie has many great and emotional moments of its own but the flow often feels disjointed with the additional scenes and musical numbers inserted in. Regardless of the issues Beauty and the Beast has, it is still an immensely fun movie to see. The magic is still there it’s just not as well organized. Let me know which one you liked better the new one or the original!    
 

Should You See It?: Yes

Theater Worthy: Yes

Final Grade: B-