Beauty and the Beast, a childhood Disney favorite of mine and many others worldwide is next up to release a live-action remake. These remakes, as of yet, have been rather mundane in their attempts to recapture the magic of the original animated classics. But Beauty and the Beast could be the one that breaks this chain of mediocrity and deliver a familiar yet fresh take on this story.
With Hermoine…. uhhh Emma Watson as Belle she fits the Beauty role quite nicely. Dan Stevens as Beast is OK but with the character itself being CGI mostly and that animation being out of sync in more places than should’ve been allowed it takes you out of some scenes. Luke Evans’ Gaston is the best flesh and blood performance in the entire film. Kevin Kline as Belle’s Dad, Maurice, is a close second.
Josh Gads’ version of Lefou is a necessary character as he pushes Gastons’ ego ever higher throughout the film. But, I feel the spotlight put on the homosexual aspect of his character added nothing to the film so at days end was uncalled for in it’s inclusion. It doesn’t detract from the film just kind of seemed like it was shoehorned in for shock value and press.
Unsurprisingly, the animated characters were the highlight of the film as a whole. It’s crazy to me how these “live action” remakes always have to put a bunch of emphasis on the characters that are animated on screen. All of the main characters were animated for a large portion of the film save for Gaston, Lefou, Belle, and Maurice.
The songs we all know and love are still there (alongside song newer little diddies) and handled pretty well by the cast. There’s even little tidbits thrown in there to freshen up some of the classics (like Gads’ little aside at the end of his rousing ode to the apple of his eye Gaston which I thought was hilarious). The action sequences are put together and executed pretty well, the few that there are in the film.
Beauty and the Beast is a film people I feel will talk about for the wrong reasons. But if all that’s pushed to the side it’s a relatively enjoyable film. The classic story, music and romance is all there with some standout performances from Luke Evans and the Castle Staff.