A tale as old as time, but is it more beast than beauty?
This is a difficult review to write to be honest… I mean it is a tale as old as time after all. It’s like snuggling up and watching a film you’ve already seen numerous times before and that’s where the problems arise… I struggled to get invested because I knew exactly how it was going to end.
That’s not to say it’s a bad film… I sat there and I enjoyed it but it was exactly what I expected, Decent. Nothing more. Nothing less. I really wanted to be surprised by it… Hell, throw in a few curve balls to make us question if we were going to get the same kind of ending from the cartoon? They weren’t shy of adding extra scenes. However these added story elements did very little to expand the story and the film could have worked perfectly fine without them. These extra scenes actually work against the remake in my opinion, pushing the runtime to over 2 hours. With a story as simple as Beauty and the Beast I felt it was just too long.
After last year’s incredibly impressive Jungle Book remake I expected a lot from the visuals. Again I was left pretty underwhelmed. The household items found in the film… including two of the films biggest stars (Cogsworth (the clock), Lumière (the candlestick), were so dull, they lose a lot of their animated predecessors’ charm and actually even look kind of creepy at times. Unlike the animated original – this new ‘realistic’ version they only have very limited facial expressions, bleeding them of life and personality.
Then there’s the wolves. If the JUNGLE BOOK can make them look that good then Disney have no excuse for how bad this scene is, lazy and fake looking animations galore.
Emma Watson does a good enough job playing Bella… She’s got the innocent look down to a tee, however her acting is average at best. Acting to a green screen for at least 50% of the film, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. The beast was pretty unconvincing… To be honest I expected this after watching only the trailers. He just never feels real at any point, his eyes are completely devoid of soul, and his facial animations clearly CGI fakery.
The one character I did enjoy was Gaston. Luke Evans gives a very energized performance and is so good I found myself starting to root for him a little throughout. The film actually creates a few new scenes to make him come across as more of a bad guy because for a while he actually just comes across as a half decent fella who perhaps loves himself just a tad too much (but who’s not for loving one’s self eh?!)
The songs in the film are fantastic but let’s not beat around the bush…. That’s a given surely? The soundtrack to the original still stands as one of the greatest musicals from Disney ever and this film was simply re-mastering them. Some extra songs have been added and from the one listen so far they felt pretty generic. ‘How Does A Moment Last Forever’ was alright, maybe they’d grow on me if I let them (But I won’t be letting them).
Man this sounds like a harsh review but let me tell you what! If a production house such as Disney can take a classic film (one that should never be replaced!), stick some shit CGI in and tell the same story almost word for word AND THEN MAKE $170 MILLION in ONE weekend, in the US alone! Then it does worry me a little for the future of Hollywood.
The film loses so much of the magic from the original, the characters are empty shells compared to the 1991 classic. BUT if you’re a fan of the original you will get some enjoyment out of this, all I need do is ask some of my girly friends… They’re all in love with it.
It’s a tale as old as time, It’s still a great classic love story but lacks the originals emotion, beauty and grandness. Worth a watch but it should never replace the original. Ever.
Are you a fan of Disney’s live-action remake idea? Let me know in the comments below.