What’s it about?
Beauty and the Beast is the live action adaptation of the animated classic film by the same name.
The film tells the story of Belle, a strong independant woman whose father gets imprisoned by a monstrous looking beast in a forgotten part of the forest when he steals from its garden. Belle offers herself as prisoner in return for her father’s freedom and starts living in the desolate castle along with the beast. As time goes by, she begins to discover the gentle nature of the beast and learn about the terrible curse upon the castle and its inhabitants. How she manages to save the beast from its ultimate fate, while dealing with a scheming manipulative and dangerous suitor who is searching for her, is what forms the rest of the film.
All the fantastical elements have been brought to life beautifully with the help of VFX. The film stays true to the original animated film and this is the film’s true strength. While remaking films, the essence of the original is lost at times due to many factors. Thankfully in this case, this new film keeps the essence intact and it feels just as magical as the original. They have also added a little backstory for both Belle and the Prince, and this gives the film more depth and relatability.
Set design and costume design is top notch. Music is more like the original film, with the songs from the original being recreated. The actors themselves sing, and while they are not on par with the voice actors from the original film, they manage to give a decent singing performance. All in all a well made film.
The CGI of the beast is not rendered well. In fact the beast CGI looks very early 2000’s, and in this day and age where performance capture technology and VFX have made so much progress, this feels like a step back. Also, the film could have done without the extra songs as they add to the length of the film. However, these are minor flaws in an otherwise decent film.
This is one of those few films where the acting is uniformly good. Emma Watson as Belle does a decent job. Kevin Kline as Belle’s father brings a certain warmth to the role. Dan Stevens as the Beast give a good motion capture performance in spite of the CGI not being that good. Luke Evans as Gaston steals the show. As the narcissistic suitor who does not take NO for an answer, he is both comical, manipulative and menacing at the same time. The voice over actors also do a good job, with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth the talking clock and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere the candlestick doing the bulk of the talking. Rest of the actors are all good in their roles.
A good and faithful adaptation of the animated Disney classic, this is a good one time watch.
3 / 5 stars