Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

My two main impressions:

~ it was really, really pretty

~it was really, really sweet

The music made me happy and, though some cast members sang better than others, it was pretty well executed.



Most of the additional scenes were fun, especially the prologue(that eyeshadow, though), but many of them failed to complement the original story. For example, at one point the Beast and Belle use time travel apparatus to visit her past and discover what happened to the mother who was never mentioned in the cartoon. That scene served to satisfy our interest about her mom, but did little to drive the story or develop the characters.

Also, without revealing too much, the ending played out a little differently than it did in the 1991 movie. I didn't care for the alterations, but "on that point it is best to remain silent" until you have seen it and decided for yourself. :)

Now, besides the music and visuals and sweetness, the one other element that filled my heart with joy was the casting. So much yes. So many familiar faces and perfect choices for the roles. The actors I appreciated  were...

-Emma Watson

Hermione! She was a pretty good Belle. She looks like Belle to begin with and she brought the strong, but feminine attributes essential to most good female characters.

-Dan Stevens


He played one of my favorite characters in Downton Abbey, Mathew Crawley. I was looking forward to the transformation at the end of the movie when he would look like said Downton Abbey character, but, to my delight, the CGI managed to match his facial expressions to that of the Beast's to where I could was thinking, "Wow, that's just the way Matthew would have said that!" throughout the movie.

-Emma Thompson 

Mrs. Potts has never really been my favorite character, but Emma Thompson pulled the role off nicely.

-Luke Evans

Isn't it funny how both the live-action Disney princess remakes have featured a villain played by an actor who was a hero in a Tolkien movie? (sorry, that was a mouthful)

Cinderella featured Cate Blanchett(Galadriel) as the evil stepmother and Beauty and the Beast included Luke Evans(Bard) as Gaston. Both cases required a little getting used to, but in the end, Luke Evans was a perfect Gaston. He made him humorous and despicable and just like the cartoon.

-Gugu-Mbatha Raw

She had a relatively minor role as the featherduster, but it was nice(and somewhat ironic) to see the graceful star of Belle

Lastly, I was surprised to recognize Hattie Morahan(the enchantress) from Sense and Sensibility and Mr. Holmes.

~~~

Now, about the gay character. Yes, LeFou was gay. Yes, the "exclusively gay moment" the director promised us was nothing more than about three seconds of men dancing with each other, but yes, there were a fair number of clues leading up to that. LeFou mildly flirts with Gaston throughout the film, which is uncomfortable, but not terribly inappropriate. Just disagreeable and unfortunate.

Downton Abbey(the best tv show ever) features a gay character as well. It's definitely uncomfortable, but I still watch the show because it takes a neutral position on his actions(and because it never crosses my personal border of content I don't tolerate on a screen). It doesn't shove it under our noses and ask us to celebrate like Disney did.

As a teenager, the issue was whether I would financially support something I didn't morally support. In this select circumstance, I was willing to do that. That was my decision, but I respect yours.



So, conclusion: Beautiful(and somewhat shallow)...but mostly beautiful. To quote my previous mini-review, "a long string of overwhelming eye candy". :)

What did you think of Beauty and the Beast? Did you like the casting?

10 comments:

  1. Excellent review! Finally, this is the first actual review I've seen about Beauty and the Beast from a person who has actually WATCHED the movie -- (and not just speculating!). So, thanks for writing this. I'll will end up watching the movie at some point, but probably when it comes out on DVD and the hype dies down just a bit, you know? :)

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    1. Thank you! Really? What an honor. ;)

      Yeah, that's smart. I do that too for a lot of movies. Enjoy it when you do see it!

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  2. Nice review, but I have to disagree with you about the time traveling. I think it did both enhance the characters and drive a piece of the story. First, the time traveling was not TIME traveling, so much as magically, (enchantedly, even), visiting the place she most wanted to see. I thought it was done in a way that was totally convincing as something the enchantress cursed him with and fit the movie well. Secondly, it replaced some of the small clips in the 1991 film that showed just how much the beast cared about her, i.e. The birds sitting on the beast, the conversation about giving her the library... I felt that that was well shown threw the traveling scene! Oh! It also gave some insight into why her father was always so shaky and concerned and let his mind wander, something I always found strange as a kid, but left it at old age. Plus, that was where my favorite snippet of music occurred! Always important ;)

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    1. Hmmm. I'll have to watch it again and re-assess. xD I do agree that it provided better background for her father. Good point.

      (And the music. Also good point.) :)

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  3. I loved seeing Dan Stevens facial expressions through the Beast too! That was so interesting that that could happen.

    I thought the movie drew too much away from the main story. Gaston had too many scenes. And that time travel aspect was such a random tanget to nowhere.

    What exactly didn't you like about the end? The fairy standing there? That was weird but I dislike how they pulled the camera away during the transformation.

    I liked the overall feel of the movie (morally objectionable parts excludeded); it was a nice adaptation, I just have quibbles with the various parts. Also, B&B isn't my favorite fairytale or Disney princess movie, and Cinderella set a high bar. I would watch it again, borrowed, but I'm in no great hurry. Not like Cinderella, we wanted to watch that again as soon as we left the theatre. Watched in in theatre twice and then bought it soon after it came on DVD and watched it multiple times since

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    1. I know! It made me happy:)

      Huh, I liked the Gaston scenes, but I'm with you on the time travel.

      Yeah, that. And I disliked that(unless I'm misinterpreting it) the last petal *did* fall, but the enchantress intervened and allowed the transformation.

      I know what you mean! I am rather eager to see it again, but Cinderella was its own level of excellence. :)

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  4. I have made my mind up most firmly that I will go see this on Saturday. And do my very best to enjoy Luke Evans. And the movie. I will.

    Meanwhile, I tagged you here. Play if you want to :-)

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    1. Good! I'm hoping to read your review soon. I skimmed through it and I'm glad you liked Luke Evans's performance-- I think he portrayed his character best of the entire cast.

      Great! I hope to do that soon:)

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  5. "(that eyeshadow, though)" Oh yes!!!! It was a too little much!

    I knew Cate Blanchett is Galadriel! I asked my sister, "Isn't that Cate Blanchett?" She said, "No!" I was right!!

    Nice review!

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    1. Just a little. xD

      Haha, she did look different, didn't she?

      Thank you!

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Comments are my favorite, seriously. :D But please do remember to remain respectful and all that.