Beauty and the Beast 2017

April 24, 2017

beauty and the beast elitere

If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time. As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast?

I’m sure everyone recognizes the quote above and yes, I know it’s from the 1991 version, but I just didn’t want to start this review without it. My lovelies, after waiting for so long, I’ve finally watched Beauty and the Beast, the new adaptation. I’ll say this from the very beginning: I loved the new version and all the nonsense I saw online before watching it just vanished from my mind while I was at the cinema. Was it as good as the original? Not really, but I definitely recommend it and I’m sure I’ll watch it with pleasure again. Just so you know, this article will be incredibly subjective.

We all know the story of Belle and the prince turned into a beast until he learnt to love, so I won’t insist on that. I plan to tell you exactly what I loved… and just a bit of what didn’t impress me. First of all, I love the cast. Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (Beast) and Luke Evans (Gaston) are perfect for the characters they play. Everyone else makes the whole story come to life in a way that will bring back childhood memories and add new moments meant to be fondly remembered later on.

I know that before the film was released, and even afterwards, there were quite a few people who considered that they had to go online and bitch about… well, details which I guarantee will not affect children in any way. Seriously, some adults need to grow up. Anyway, visually, this version was positively gorgeous, from the first petals which appeared on screen, until the final dance of protagonists. I fell in love with the rose, that magnificent castle, the forest, the music box made by Belle’s father, and all the little details which placed this world somewhere between reality and fairytale.

I am a bit torn when it comes to the costumes, though. Gaston’s was spot on, the Beast’s were alright most of the time, but Belle’s dresses… it was a huge NO from me whenever she wore a part of her skirt lifted. Was it to make her move easier? I don’t know, but it looked incredibly awkward and unnecessary. And no, I am not impressed in any way by the lack of a corset. When I first saw pictures of the golden gown, I was disappointed, but I found it quite pretty once it was shown on screen. It moved nicely during the dance and it had subtle details which made me want to go and buy pieces of jewelry which would resemble them. Her last gown was simply gorgeous. All the other gowns and costumes came and completed a perfect image at the beginning and the ending of the story.

We got an explanation as to why no one remembers the castle and the prince, and why the servants were cursed too. I never cared about that as a child, but I was pleased to see that detail added here. Also, we get to see what that man has forgotten (I’m sure you all remember the short scene which looked like a nod to the Harry Potter series), something which proves to be quite emotional. It was nice to glimpse at the past of certain characters, although I will say this: there are quite a few villains I’m drawn to, but Gaston is not among them. I’d never be interested in learning more about him.

Speaking of this character, Luke Evans was perfect for the part. To be honest, I can’t really imagine a role which would not highlight Luke’s talent. Anyway, this 2017 Gaston proves to be not only a jerk, but also quite monstrous, his true intentions and temper being revealed throughout the film. Thus, while he seems to be rather charming and mostly harmless at the beginning, he is frightening towards the end. He repulsed me, just like his counterpart from the animated version, especially because it’s quite easy to recognize some of the ideas he embodies and know that they are harmful to everyone.

Le Fou… well, Josh Gad does make this character more complex, more likeable, but I still perceived him like a spineless coward. While I didn’t feel the disgust “dedicated” to his animated counterpart, I couldn’t actually grow to like him now. I did enjoy the acting, though, and it made me curious to look for some of Gad’s other works. I mean something other than Frozen, because I know that film pretty much by heart.

As for the couple, Belle and the Beast, I was genuinely pleased with what I saw on screen in March. There have been a few awkward moments, but – all in all – I loved what Emma and Dan did with the characters. I enjoy looking back and seeing them placed face to face with the people from the village, seeing their story grow outside the expectations of a community that fails to understand those who are even slightly different, even when said differences can make someone a better person.

Regardless of who they truly are, the people of the village we see throughout the film painfully resemble those who either live in rather small communities, or those who refuse to look beyond a handful of information. And they are terrified of anything which does not fit their view of the world. Fear leads to cruelty and weakness in this case, for they can be easily manipulated when someone (Gaston, in this scenario) distorts facts.

I’ll end this article with two more aspects which made me fall in love with this story once more: the soundtrack and the happy ending. The songs are addictive, I don’t think there has been a day when I haven’t listened at least one of them. As for the happy ending… I love them, that’s something that will never change, no matter what fandoms demand or what might seem to fit our world today. After watching this film, I was ready to face another busy week. While I don’t know when I’m going to post the review or when you’re going to read it, I want to tell you that I watched the film in March, on a Sunday evening, and it was a great way to end the day and prepare for a new week.

I recommend this film and I truly hope that you will also enjoy it. Hopefully, we’ll talk more about it in the comment section. Until next time!

by Elena Atudosiei

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