If we’re to talk about prejudice, I’ve got one for you: I was absolutely sure that the new version of Beauty and the Beast will not just turn out to be bad (real bad, actually) but that it will also prove itself as a completely unnecessary film. Because who needs a remake of the (already perfect) Disney animated classic, that brings nothing new other than the live action? I mean, from what I’ve seen on the stills, it seemed like a complete copy of the animated scenes… so, I was asking myself, what’s the purpose of it? Why not rather come up with something new and original? (yes, I am fed up with all the remakes being made lately). Plus to me the Disney classics are something that should not be touched. They are holy. And I’ve never been a fan of any of the American live action fairytales, Into the Woods and likes. So I was really really sick about the idea and not interested in seeing it at all. Then I went to the cinema to see a different movie and caught a trailer for Beauty and the Beast. I was intrigued. It actually looked beautiful. And pretty spectacular. Could it possibly be any good? Well, now that I have finally seen it, I am happy to report that yes, it could! In fact, I was totally enchanted.
Oh, the inner princess in me (or is it just an inner child? I got confused here 😀 ) is dancing! I absolutely loved the new Beauty and the Beast. Since the first minute to the last. I was having fun, flying on the wings of imagination and into the magical world where love always wins. Ah! Don’t we all need a little bit of that in our lives, especially now. It’s so easy to get lost in this film and watch it with the eyes of a child. It has so much to offer! It’s a winning combination of absolutely amazing cast, the Disney signature humor we know from the animated films, and great special effects that make the world look realistic and not tacky or too digital at all. And even the songs are beautiful – I can’t quite remember if they are the same as in the animated version? Whatever the case, they never fail to entertain.
Talking of the cast, the film’s strongest asset, I am happy to say that this marks the first film I’ve seen Emma Watson in where I did enjoy her performance. I’ve never been into the Harry Potter movies and from what I’ve seen of them, I’ve never been impressed by any of the children cast. Although Emma has always stood out among all of them. But even after seeing her in other movies, most recently in Colonia, I always felt like she is just trying too hard and never seemed believable to me. Which was a shame because despite not being touched by the Harry Potter hype that made her famous, I became a fan of her off-screen persona. BUT I did love her as Belle. Here she’s a natural! I was a bit worried at the beginning that her portrayal of Belle might be a little too feminist for my taste, but she just made her a perfectly believable character with nothing that seemed too pushy. To be honest, I can’t quite imagine anyone else in this role. I don’t know if it proves her acting skills, but it surely proves she’s a great fit for the Disney world.
Now to the rest of the cast. And ‘the rest’ being a great understatement here, because I believe that the supporting roles are what actually makes this film so special and so fun. First of all we have Luke Evans as Gaston. The big-headed asshole (sorry) who thinks he’s the most beautiful man (and quite possibly human being) in the whole wide world. Evans‘ portrayal is epic fun. I was laughing out loud at his stupidity and vanity so so much. Not for a second you doubt that he really does think so. He’s perfectly realistic. He kind of reminded of Eugen in Tangled at the beginning of the story – only Eugen turned out to be a good guy in the end. For me this sense of humour, that was transferred from the recent animated films like Tangled or Frozen, is one of the greatest achievements. If you liked any of those, you’re gonna love this one, too.
Next we have the great Ian McKellen as Cogsworth here. And damn, he’s hilarious, too. I don’t think that I could ever mistaken Ian McKellen’s voice after seeing Lord of the Rings way too many times, and as I did not study the cast prior to seeing the film (I only knew of Emma Watson and Luke Evans), it was such a great surprise! From the very first line he said, I knew he’s gonna be the best part of the film. However, to my even bigger surprise, there was someone even tiny bit better.
Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. Oh my god! I mean, Ewan McGregor with a French accent? who was obviously having too much fun with the character. He got me cracking! Absolutely brilliant! I couldn’t help but imagine these two – Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor – working together on these characters. I’m sure it was a lot of fun behind the scenes, too!
So, could it possibly get any better? You bet! You get Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts and as a cherry on top Stanely Tucci as Maestro Cadenza. Add Kevin Kline as Belle’s father Maurice to the mix and I think you just found a winning combination for any future film. How could you go wrong with a cast like that! (I mean, I’m sure you could if you had a bad script or not a skilful director, cause then even the best cast can’t save the day, although it can very much ease the catastrophe, but luckily this was far from the case).
So, you have a great story and a dream cast. Now you get the visual beauty. I was worried there will be too much of the CGI used to create the spellbound characters and that it will look just awful. Luckily, even in this case, my worries were proven completely wrong. I think the only time I felt like it’s obvious it’s digital was the final chase between Gaston and the Beast. But other than that, I was absolutely amazed. The film is visually stunning. Lumiere, Cogsworth and all the other characters are so beautifully done and look so real that it’s beyond me. This is what I love about movies – when they make you wonder, how the hell did they do it! These characters bear all of the magic of the cartoon ones. They are truly beautifully done.
And it’s still not all! The ultimate cherry on top is Celine Dion’s new song that accompanies the film’s end credits. I just loved that they brought her back! I mean, a perfect fairytale needs a Celine Dion song, don’t you think? 🙂
The overall feeling? I wanna go and watch it all over again! I don’t remember when was the last time I was charmed by a fairytale this much. Well done, Disney studios. This is the return of the ultimate Disney fairytale dream, in all its grandeur. And I think Walt would be very proud.
Take your inner child to see this film, it will be grateful to you. I dare to say it’s better than the original.
Meanwhile, I shall go and get myself some yellow dress! (I mean, is it a coincidence that Mia in La La Land wears a yellow dress, too, when she gets to dance with Sebastian?!)