Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Beauty and the Beast

A tale as old as time is being retold.

Beauty and the Beast is the latest addition to Disney’s line-up of live-action remakes of animated classics. This time around Emma Watson serves at the titular beauty, while Dan Stevens plays the beast. They make for charming leads, and the ensemble cast of enchanted objects in the beast’s castle is just as fun as the original.

Luke Evans strides about his scenes as a dashing Gaston. His good looks dazzle even more than the original animated villain, but the movie increases his sinister nature accordingly.

The visuals are the real showstoppers though. From the opening of the movie all the way through, the costumes are breath taking. Unlike animated designs, live-action allows for more detail and texture, and the film does not disappoint.

Transforming animated objects into realistic looking CGI is no small task, but the production and special effects teams were up to the job. Rather than trying to match the design of the original, the movie redesigns all of the characters into their own unique visual. Purists may complain “it isn’t exactly like the old one,” but they should just go watch the old one then.

The live-action adaption is its own movie, and that creativity should be applauded not caged by what came before it.

Speaking of moving forward, the newer version also update’s its heroine. Belle has never been a shrinking violet, but Watson’s portrayal ups the ante even further. 

This time around Belle takes after her father and is an inventor in her own right. Trapped in the beast’s tower, she attempts a makeshift rope to escape out the window.

When Gaston asks if he can come over for dinner, Belle replies he may not. Gaston asks if it’s because she is busy, and Belle says no. She doesn’t give an excuse for not wanting to be with him, because she shouldn’t have to.

New music has also been added to the movie’s already impressive line-up. Classics like “Be Our Guest” return, but new songs include a touching melody by Belle’s father and a heart-wrenching number by the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast told us the first time around it was already a tale as old as time, but we keep re-telling it, and stories like it, because there are always more ideas to explore and new directions worth taking. Some people may question the necessity of remaking a movie that was already nominted for best picture, but you’d have to be a beast not to enjoy this second outing.

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Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
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Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
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Kasson, MN 55944

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