Title: Beauty and the Beast
Runtime: 2 hours and 9 minutes
Release Date: March 17th 2017
Reviewed by: AIDAN GLENDON
Beauty and the Beast is a live-action remake of a Disney classic, with just a few slight changes. It still maintains the bone-structure of the original animated classic musical/romance/fairytale epic, but is a little darker and goes much deeper with the characters in its additional 45 minutes.
For the few who have never seen the original (shame on you), Beauty and the Beast is about a girl named Belle (which means Beauty) who is tired of her small town life. After her father goes missing, she races to find him in the forgotten castle of a long-withdrawn prince, who has been cursed to live as a beast. She takes her father’s place in the castle and must spend time with the creature. The beast must learn to love another, and another must love him back in order to break the curse, which has also turned all of his house staff into animate objects.
The movie is directed by Bill Condon who – unknown to me at the time – unsurprisingly helmed the Twilight movies. He brings a certain gloominess to the movie that is not present in the original, but he knows that his true audience is for all ages, not just the kids. This is evident in many ways, such as how the curse effects the castle, and in some song changes (said song changes add some much needed pathos). His style really drives up the stakes, making slight alterations to the beloved characters, which make them feel just a bit more real.
Emma Watson (Harry Potter franchise) starts as the titular beauty, with Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame as the titular Beast. The cast is rounded out by: Josh Gad playing Lefou; Kevin Kline as Maurice; and Ewan McGregor, Ian Mckellen, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, and Emma Thompson as the beast’s cursed servants. And of course, the cast’s true MVP, Luke Evans playing Gaston.
For me, sitting in the theater watching my favorite childhood movie be redone in an inventive and interesting new take was amazing. It was just as good, if not better, than the original. It might be the extra run time, but the 2017 version seems to flow better. This one also boasts some new songs such as Days in the Sun, and my personal favorite, the beast’s heart wrenching Evermore. My only real problem with this movie is that it abandoned one of my all-time favorite songs from the original, Human Again, in favor of the more somber Days in the Sun.
All in all, this movie is absolutely fantastic, and one that I will most definitely see again (although probably not as many times as I saw the original as a child).