WHAT I LOVE AND HATE ABOUT THE NEW ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’

I always answer Beauty and the Beast when asked to name my favorite animated/Disney film of all-time, so the possibility of me finding the new live-action movie better than the 1991 classic is non-existent.

These were some things I loved (and didn’t like so much) about the Bill Condon-directed movie, which hit theatres this week.

I LOVE

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The nostalgia

This 2017 adaptation stays very faithful to the original animated film made 16 years ago, including re-adapting the musical gems created by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. Many lines from the animated film are also heard again in the new movie.

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The French flavour

Lumiere’s accent was pretty much the only thing about the animated movie that felt French to me. The new movie however feels like a story that indeed took place in the heart of the Parisian country: the architecture, the costumes, the spirit.

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The gradual falling in love

In pre-21st century animated flicks, the romance rushes in quickly. Thanks to the post-Y2K rejection of this fantasy, fairytale adaptations are now told more realistically. Belle and the Beast’s romantic interactions become more gradually progressive, which makes the love story even more authentic.

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‘Be Our Guest’

The entire scene was pretty stellar, honoring the exuberance of the original animated sequence. I won’t describe it in detail. Just watch and you’ll understand.

I HATE

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The origin stories

We finally get our answers to two questions that I honestly never cared about: where is Belle’s mother and why is the Beast such a bastard? I don’t mind backstories especially if they enrich the story, but they were inserted quite abruptly into the movie. Had it been more seamless, I would’ve found it cool.

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Emma Watson’s singing voice

Emma Watson is many things. She’s a beautiful actress. She’s an inspirational feminist. She’s a brilliant academic. She’s a stunning Burberry model. She’s fricking Hermione Granger. But she is not a singer. Somehow I found the texture of her voice to be slightly vocoded in this movie. Maybe they toggled it in the editing bay because it was too thin.

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How small the library and ballrooms were

They were spectacularly immersive in the animated film, largely (pun intended) because they were enormous. In this live-action adaptation, both the library and ballroom were disappointingly tinier than I would’ve liked them to be.

 

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