So unless you’ve been deep underground for the past couple weeks you’ll know that Beauty and the Beast just came out. It was amazing. Now I don’t know how the whole spoiler thing works with this, because you must already know what happens in the original movie, (it’s kinda in the title) and this sticks pretty close to the original. I had some doubts about how well this would turn out and now I feel like a fool, like a fool, because it really was great.
Now let me just start by saying I love Belle. I do. But I can also see why the other town people might not have been her biggest fans. Let’s just begin with the beginning. So, in the originals:
Look how happy everybody is. It’s a new day, they’re ready to start things off with a bang, even the guy in the stocks is happy- and then in comes Belle. Proceeding to bitch about everybody’s day, and in song form to boot. Not even just “you poor simple people”; she’s literally woken up and composed a song about how pathetic their lives are. Can you blame them for not liking her? Admittedly, they perhaps shouldn’t have taken it so far as “call you insane and lock you up with your father to get you out of our hair”, but you can see why they might be a little disgruntled. Nobody’s happy in the mornings, and to have a certain somebody flouncing past and bitching about you in song form, and then to finish it off with a big number about how they don’t want to turn out like you, is perhaps not the best way to start your day off.
And THEN, the iconic baker scene:
This poor guy. Despite it being all Disney-ed up, you can tell the baker is perhaps not the most well-off guy in the world, and who knows how early he has to get up to make those bread roll things just so somebody can flounce past going “just the same as yesterday….” Poor dude. And in the new one:
SAME DEAL. No please, no thankyou, just “I’m gonna take this bread roll, but I’m also gonna bitch about it.”
I’m sorry, I know this is becoming a bit of a Belle-rant, but that is a sensitive subject for me, could you tell?
Moving on: Emma Watson made for a fantastic Belle. From all the interviews and promos she’s been doing for this movie, you can tell she really engages with the character, and it shows. She’d mentioned loving this movie as a kid and there’s several moments in it where you can tell she just thinks it’s pure magic.
I have to admit, I’d only seen Dan Stevens in Downton Abbey before, and I kinda thought he’d be a bit too “oh I’m so incredibly sorry, but I’ll burst into tears if the tea things don’t appear directly”, and bit too soft to play a beast. But no, wrong again, he was amazing too. I had no idea he could sing so well, bringing me on to another point: Disney has the best songs. I just can’t wait to be king, I’ll make a man out of you, Prince ALIII, fabulous he, ALI ABABWAAAAAA- you know the ones. I’d kind of forgotten how good the Beauty and the Beast ones are, especially the mob song. Which leads me on again to Luke Evans- how they made him look so Gaston-y I have no idea:
but he was fantastic for the role, and he could sing too, as you can tell:
I love that song.
Ewan McGregor was giving real Moulin-Rouge-y vibes, impressive since he was a candlestick for most of it, and Ian Mckellan is always amazing. I’d heard something ages ago about how he didn’t really like acting with loads of CGI- I don’t know if it’s true or not but he seemed very happy to be a clock.
Emma Thompson can do no wrong. They could have just stuck a tea cozy on her head and asked her to do the “I’m a little teapot” dance and she would have made it work.
I loved Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette:
I liked, too, how they managed to change the movie without changing it. If that makes sense. This was far more dark than the original, and the end was sort of devastating.
Beast was well and truly English, yet he ruled a big French palace. And Lumiere and Plumette were French, yet Gaston didn’t understand it. I was kinda confused until I remembered I needed to have a little perspective; if I’m not going to question the giant enchanted castle complete with Beast-man-with-horns, then I can’t question accents.
I’d been hearing a lot of negative stuff about this before I went to see it, about how Emma Watson wasn’t a singer, and how people didn’t like the yellow dress, and all sorts of stuff like that, so I’m just going to address that here. Firstly, we all knew Emma Watson wasn’t a singer, she’s never gone about declaring herself the best singer ever, and I thought she actually sounded quite good. There was obviously a difference between herself and the experienced singers but in this movie they were clearly prioritising the right people for the right roles over how well they could sing, and she sounded like Belle, both singing and speaking, which is probably the most important thing. Secondly, I LIKED THE DRESS. There, I said it. It is clearly very hard to pull of a pouffy flouncy dress especially in yellow, and again she did it beautifully. Plus, imagine how pissy people might have got if they hadn’t stuck to the original dress. All her other outfits were similar to the originals, and if they’d changed this it would have been saying a lot. Plus, remember this dilemma:
And be grateful that the Beauty and the Beast people at least knew what they were going with.
To sum up- I could kind of tell how much I loved this movie when I got home and was looking it up, and realised I’d almost forgotten about the original version.
There were some new songs in this movie, all of which worked without question, I challenge any of you to disagree, so I’ll leave you with the one I’m currently obsessed with: