Beauty and the Beast, one of the most hyped movies of 2017, has hit cinemas and Disney fanatics and Emma Watson fans are clawing their way into the cinema to watch the world’s most temperamental rose wilt. AGAIN. My question for everybody is – why is it breaking box office records when nothing new happens?
These past few years we have seen the likes of many ‘real life’ remakes, all of them close to pointless. We saw Cinderella get bippoty boppoty boo’ed, Maleficent being badass, Alice in Wonderland get an unnecessary Tim Burton makeover and the Jungle Book get a CGI bump up. And now Beauty and the Beast, doing the exact same thing but with bad CGI and Emma Watson. Safe to say, I’m about to flip an enchanted table here.
Where to begin with this tale as old as time, is hard to say. The entire film almost seemed like a student trying to rewrite it for their HSC finals trying to avoid getting caught for plagiarism. There was no hook, no twist, nothing different, nothing new. Literally just people instead of cartoons. We see the opening of the small town, and I guess there isn’t much more than this provincial life, with it mirroring the cartoon nearly shot for shot. While visually it was stunning, the sets seemed like something straight out of a movie world attraction.
Our leading lady didn’t do much that stood out either. It seemed to just be Emma Watson being Emma Watson but with edited singing and a weird ‘pants but still a dress, is this a feminist thing?’ outfit. Our Beast, hidden behind a weird CGI fur mask, had little to work with. Dan Stevens’ beautiful singing was marred by the addition of a bass murmur to his voice and his script gave him little room for anything else, jumping from uncomfortable chatter to uncomfortable love in 10 minutes. Ewan McGregor as Lumiere didn’t spark much with his performance in Be our Guest- a carbon copy of the cartoon- making everyone want to book the nearest motel. Ian Mckellan succeeded as the disgruntled Cogsworth, because, I mean can he ever fail? And Emma Thompson poured her heart out as Mrs Potts and steamed us up a delight.
But the stand out, and overall saviour of this film, and the one thing that kept me in the cinema was Luke Evans as Gaston. Brutish. Charming. Beautiful un- altered voice, and, let’s be honest, just a beautiful specimen. Although his character leap from a lowkey villain to a full-fledged psycho in 20 minutes I was still cheering him on wanting him to win, and when you end up rooting for the villain in a Disney princess film, you have to realise something’s gone horribly wrong with the fairytale.
For an enchanted castle, there was no magic, and for a romance, there was no believable affection.
Secretly I was hoping the wilting rose would pick up its pace and drop its last petal so we could all go home and enjoy the original cartoons we grew up with before they get re-made into a CGI mess.