Beauty and the Beast (2017): Nostalgic yet Unsatisfying Romance

The official movie site is here.

Continuing trend of making live actions from their movies, Disney launched another fairy tale comes to the light in this live version of Beauty and the Beast. As you can guess, our main protagonist, the fearless bookworm Belle (played by our beloved Hermione Granger, Emma Watson), is a provincial girl from Villenueve whose dream of adventure outside her small village. Living with her artist father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), Belle is judged as a lovely but weird girl from her fellow villagers. Her beauty enchants our main antagonist, the manly muscular narcissistic Gaston (played by The Hobbit’s Bard the Bowman, Luke Evans). 

One day, Maurice took on journey to the market, but lost his way and arrived at a strange castle. While he tried to bring back a rose for his daughter, he was captured by the owner of the cursed castle, The Beast (played by Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, whose blue eyes still look magnificent in his faux fur Beast appearance). Worried about his father, Belle comes to the castle and replaces his father as Beast’s prisoner. Her arrival gives hope to other cursed people, Beast’s loyal subordinates: Lumiere the candelabra bouteiller (motion pictured by our young Obi Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth the mantel clock majordomo (Sir Ian McKellen), Plumette the feather duster maid (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Madame de Garderobe the opera singing wardrobe (Audra McDonald) and her husband Cadenza the harpsichord maestro (Stanley Tucci), and finally Mrs Potts the wise talking teapot (Emma Thompson) and her son Chip (Nathan Mack). They all expect that Belle somehow be the one who will lift the curse and set them all free.

The rest is history. If you watched the 1991 Oscar Winning Beauty and The Beast, then the rest of this movie will be a nostalgia to that one. The dining cabaret for singing the legendary scene “Be Our Guest” to the extension of Beast’s version of Josh Groban’s “Evermore” will give us the nostalgic feeling of the 1991 animated version. The ball scene, with Watson wears that iconic yellow ball gown to Emma Thompson’s version of “Beauty and the Beast” will just remind us of what happens in the animation version, while I still can recall Angela Lansbury version of “Beauty and the Beast”. Josh Gad’s version of “Gaston” is nearly close to the original but however, his voice just reminds me of Olaf from Frozen (2013), whom he also voiced. So it feels like Olaf is singing “Gaston” while I can picture him singing “In Summer” like in the Frozen.

However, those nostalgic feelings are the only thing you will get in this movie. With ensemble casts like Emma Watson (can you imagine other actress portraying Belle other than our fearless and smart feminist Hermione Granger?), Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci and Luke Evans, this movie still feels like lost in the enchanted forest. It makes us happy but still feels hollow, like it just wants to finish another Disney’s live action movie without giving some emotions in that. The Beast is so bland, quite a vain for Dan Stevens’ pretty blue eyes and sweet gestures towards Belle. 

Oh, and the LGBT scene on where everyone is worrying about is taking place nearly at the end of the movie, where Josh Gad’s LeFou is dancing with another man cast, but it only takes place about one minute so it should be nothing to worry about actually. I give this movie 7.8/10, for being a movie where we can escape just a little bit, gives us little happiness before get back to our cruel reality.


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