Movie Review Flashback: The Live-Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Is a Beautiful Take On A Fairy Tale Classic

The last really good live-action remake of a Disney classic was Beauty and the Beast and boy, was it entertaining, especially after seeing how faithful it was to the original. Ahead of The Lion King which comes out in less than a month, I’m looking back at the review I wrote for 2017’s Beauty and the Beast starring the instantly recognizable Emma Watson. Enjoy!

I finally watched the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast and I can honestly say I highly enjoyed it. Here’s a rundown on what I know of Beauty and the Beast. I never watched the animated Disney Beauty and the Beast film, I missed that bandwagon, but I did own a book of the fairy tale when I was a child and I LOVED it. I read it over and over again and so to see the movie brought back all of that nostalgia from when I was a little girl.

When this movie was coming out in 2017 there was so MUCH publicity surrounding the film I didn’t want to watch it but now that it’s been just over a year since it burst into theaters I’ve finally seen it and I am very happy that I did. I tried to watch Cinderella and couldn’t finish it but Beauty and the Beast was much better.

The Characters

Belle

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I’ve been watching Emma Watson as Hermione Granger since before I could remember and so to see her play such an iconic princess was very brave for her. When I see Emma Watson I instantly say to myself, “Oh, it’s Hermione!” I’m proud to say that throughout this movie I thought of her as Belle rather than Hermione which was kind of surprising. And her singing scenes were worthy of applause. She did a pretty good job. I feel that they could’ve definitely cast a better Belle but I understand what Disney was trying to achieve. Putting a big-time actor like Emma Watson in that role immediately draws the eyes of many and people that may not be interested in the film would be more inclined to take a chance and watch the movie once they see that she’s in it.

And I loved that this version of Belle was a strong-willed woman. She was never perceived as a damsel in distress, she never took orders or acted like she was scared to go toe to toe with the Beast, and she was an inventor. It made her more than just some remake of a Disney princess. It made her a heroine worth liking and I liked that aspect of the film.

Gaston

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Oh my goodness, Luke Evans did such a marvelous job playing the role of Gaston. He was charming and dashing and such a jerk. Basically, he was perfect. I loved Luke Evans in The Hobbit Trilogy as Bard, the killer of the dragon, Smaug and to see him take this role was exciting, to say the least. What surprised me most about his performance was the fact that he could sing! Bard singing? Really? That was a fun experience seeing Luke Evans singing with his surprisingly rich voice. He, unfortunately, came to a rather shocking and gruesome demise in the movie. I really didn’t think he was going to die but oh well, that’s what he gets for being the biggest jerk on the planet. *shrug*

The Beast

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There have been many versions of the Beast and while I’m sure he was supposed to emit a sort of menace or scary appearance in the movie he definitely wasn’t very scary. But he was surprisingly sweet and kind and I was surprisingly able to relate with Belle and why she fell in love with him. Oh my gosh, do I like the Beast?

I’m waiting for there to finally be a version of the Beast that’s just purely horrid to look at so it’ll truly convey why we’re supposed to be so afraid of him but this was a decent version of the iconic character.

All of the Servants

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One of my favorite aspects of this movie were the servants around the castle. I never thought a candle holder, a clock, a teacup, a piano, etc. could enthrall me so much but they really did. They were so kind and helpful and honestly my favorite part of the movie was when the servants were lifted from their curses and I got to see what they really looked like.

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First of all, the clock was played by Ian McKellen! Oh my goodness, the legend, Ian McKellen? I have watched him as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies since before I knew I was watching him and so to find out that he was the clock was just a joy for me.

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Secondly, there was Lumière, the candle. I loved the candle. He was charismatic, he was funny, but when I found out Ewan Mcgregor (a.k.a Obi-Wan Kenobi!) played him my jaw dropped. Obi-Wan can sing?! When did that happen? I couldn’t believe it.

And then, of course, there were the other servants who managed to make my day as well.

The Music

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I’m a huge fan of Disney songs. They just make me so happy and the songs for Beauty and the Beast are just magnificent. I loved the musical vibe the movie gave and there were a lot of times when the songs just covered my body in goosebumps. Especially “Be My Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Those are just magical songs. Did I mention I love Disney? 🙂

The Visuals

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One thing Disney never fails at is making a visually enticing film and this movie does not disappoint. From beginning to end the movie is stunningly beautiful and that always helps provide a sense of magic to a movie that other drabber films can’t hope to possess.

My Conclusion of the Film

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As I said before at the beginning of this review, I’ve watched a bit of the live-action Cinderella but I couldn’t finish it. I’ve seen the live-action version of The Jungle Book and while I did enjoy it to a certain degree it, after a while, lost that magic that made it so enjoyable for the first half of the movie. I saw the first Alice in Wonderland which was delightfully odd and peculiar and just downright amazing (it was the first movie I ever watched in IMAX.) And I’m pretty sure those are the only live-action Disney films I have watched over the years and Beauty and the Beast is clearly better than all of them.

The movie is very kid friendly, most of the songs are magnificent, the story is easy to follow and never gets too long or boring, the film is beautiful to observe, and I just had a great time watching it.

I’d give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and 91 out of 100. The movie was well crafted and while it wasn’t entirely perfect I did enjoy finally seeing it. After seeing Beauty and the Beast now I’m extra excited for the live-action versions of AladdinThe Lion KingMulan, and maybe even Mary Poppins. Disney just keeps bringing me happiness and I love it!

Present day: While I haven’t seen Aladdin or Mary Poppins Returns yet I am excited to eventually see those films, probably on the Disney+ service.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a magical day.

 

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