This year’s remake of Beauty and the Beast revives a classic story with which most of us are familiar, in which the young Belle sacrifices herself for a life of captivity in order to save her father, only to end up falling in love with her captor. Long ago cursed by an enchantress, this prince has been trapped in the form of an animal-like Beast, and his household servants have been turned into animated pieces of furniture. Belle befriends the furniture, falls for the Beast, and ultimately helps defend the isolated castle against the attack of the villagers, led by her own scorned lover, Gaston.
When I got to the theater, I was worried that all of the good seats might be gone, but we ended up being surprised: There were so many available showtimes and theaters that everyone was able to get in without a problem. The theater we ended up in was huge and filled with audience members of all ages.
I ultimately thought the movie was really entertaining. Everyone left the theater talking about how much this version had lived up to their expectations, and making comparisons between this and the classic animated movie. These comparisons are definitely fair, especially considering how so many of us grew up with that movie.
Personally, I thought this version was a worthwhile new addition to the legend. It didn’t contribute a ton of meaning that wasn’t already there in the first one, but it was fun to see the story brought to life in live action, and it did fill in the plot hole about what happened to Belle’s mother so many years ago. It was satisfying to see LeFou’s true feelings for Gaston recognized, and the animation of the furniture and the Beast himself worked terrifically alongside the rest of the human characters. Not to mention a girl falling in love with an animal can be a hard thing for some people to get behind, but Emma Watson and Dan Stevens did such a convincing job with the love story that by the time we got to the famous dancing-in-the-ballroom scene, everything made perfect sense.
The music was also terrific. The cast is full of talented singers, and I hadn’t paid much attention to the lyrics of the older version when I was younger, but listening to them made me understand the story a lot better this time. I couldn’t get enough of Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson), the doting but strong teapot who looks after Belle when she is at her most uncertain, or Lumiere (Ewan MacGregor), the candlestick who retains a good attitude despite being trapped in this castle for so many years.
I ultimately found this to be a really enjoyable movie experience. It’s touching, thought-provoking, and just plain fun to watch, and anyone looking for a good retelling of this classic story is in for their money’s worth.