You could be thinking, "well why should I bother reading this review when you can't be bothered to post on your blog for over a year" and yeah you'd be right in thinking that, but I urge you to carry on reading because it's going to be a wild ride (maybe). And we'll maybe get to the whole not posting in forever thing maybe later. Or maybe we won't, we'll see how carried away I get with this review.
First things first, if you know me, even a teeny tiny bit - you'll know that Beauty & The Beast is my all time favourite movie in the whole entire world. Not only is it my favourite movie, but it is an obsession that I have had since I was a kid. I have spent my life buying every possible B&TB related item I could get my hands on, I have watched it literally thousands of times, I have seen it live multiple times - on stage in the UK, in Disney World Florida and in Disney Land Paris. It was the only VHS that I ever kept (even though I no longer own a VHS player!), some of the only CD's I've ever owned (the original movie soundtrack and the Broadway original soundtrack obviously)...to put it lightly, my love for Beauty & The Beast is never ending and ever-evolving. I know a lot of people feel like this about it, so I promise I'm not insane.
When I found out that it was being remade 2/3 years ago I had a bit of a breakdown, because I just couldn't see how it could possibly be made any better. And the fear that it could be ruined was heartbreaking to me. Over the past few years I really feel like I've been through a lot with this remake, and now I've finally watched it, I feel like I have a lot to say.
Here is my warning. This post is going to be full to the brim with spoilers. I wanted to do a non-spoilery section and a spoilery section but I'm really crap at keeping secrets, so I'm just going to go for it. If you don't want spoilers STOP READING NOW, LEAVE QUICKLY.
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Before I get into the nitty gritty, I want to start with saying how much I absolutely adored this movie. We saw it in 3D in the biggest cinema screen I have ever been in, and if you can go and watch it in 3D because it is beyond magical.
The film is very close to a shot by shot remake, there are a few extra scenes/songs added into it but to be honest I truly think they were only put in so that the story makes more sense. It starts with the Prince being visited by the beggar woman, except this time she isn't visiting an 11 year old kid but a grown man who is hosting a ball in his castle. Though I have to admit I was slightly disappointed that they didn't use the classic stain-glass windows to start. I was happy that they changed the prologue to explain why nobody in the village could remember that there used to be a royal family, plus this change made the ending so much more satisfying.
I can't fault any of the cast, like at all. I honestly was worried about Emma Watson playing Belle. In my head she will always be Hermione Granger, but the more I got into the film the less I thought about Harry Potter. She was honestly amazing, though I am still jealous she got the part that I've always wanted to play. Gaston & Lefou were PERFECT, absolutely hilarious, at times terrifying and they even looked the part. Dan Stevens as the Beast...well where do I start?! The animated version of the Beast used to be my everything, he was the man(beast) for me but this new Beast is something else. Intellectual, witty, sweet - the perfect Prince. His portrayal was truly breathtaking, and I was honestly sobbing all the way through his solo Evermore because it was so beautiful. All of the animated objects in the castle where fantastic, and they had some of the best comedic lines as well.
Visually the film was absolutely stunning. Like I said earlier, make sure you see it in 3D. There were times when I actually felt like I was in the castle with them which made the film feel more personal.
The music is as gorgeous as it ever was. I actually downloaded the soundtrack literally the moment it came out in the UK, so I was fully prepared for the new songs, as well as changes to some of the older songs. Thankfully the new songs are great (Evermore is AMAZING, just something else) and the original songs have only been changed ever so slightly - probably because their lyrics were out of date. I just want to take a second to talk about Be Our Guest because it was the song I was most nervous about - I didn't think they would be able to recreate such an iconic scene but Christ was I wrong. It was fantastic and absolutely hilarious. Me and my sister were in hysterics all the way through - I really loved how Lumiere's personality came across, it was fantastic. Plus I'm pretty sure he dabbed during it - hilarious.
I'm trying to think of negative things, so this review will stop being so biased, but I'm finding it so hard. I suppose I could of done without the book/Paris scene. Whilst I understand why they put it in (so we'd have more of a background on Belle's mother), I wasn't sure it was necessary. Plus, why wasn't the Beast using it constantly? I know he says something like "there's no place in the world for a Beast" but I do think he could of at least been using it just to get out of his decaying castle. I dunno.
The ending was probably my favourite bit (it is in the animated film though) I was honestly pertrified of Gaston by the end - his evilness really comes through. I was hysterical by the time he fell! I'm so glad they kept that part pretty much the same. I enjoyed (I say enjoyed but it was heartbreaking) the moments before the spell gets broken. Watching the objects...well die...was awful. I was sobbing for ages. It was like watching my friends die. I wasn't the only person in the cinema crying either! I'm not sure the Enchantress twist really worked though - the petal had already fallen and then Agathe comes in and magically rebuilds the rose. I wasn't really sure if Agathe was supposed to be the Enchantress? Why wasn't that explained properly?! It was a bit random but I got past that as soon as I saw the way the Prince looked at Belle - major swoon!!
It was nice that they ALL got their happy endings. The Prince & Belle, then the villagers remembering their loved ones (Mrs Potts finding Mr Potts was a highlight for me!) - as well as Lefou getting his dance at the end. It was a much more satisfying ending for the characters we'd previously fallen in love with, in the animated movie it does feel like their happy ending gets overshadowed by true love.
Overall I really really LOVED this film. It was so faithful to the original but had a few well-done changes to it. I will definitely be going to see it again (and again and again - can the DVD just be out already!?!)
What did you think of the film? Let me know in the comments!
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