So. I’ve been waiting for this movie for a LONG time. Once I learned that 1)Emma Watson, THE Emma Watson, is playing Belle; 2)Dan Stevens (is repeating a name with capital THE again a mistake…? Anyway, you see my point.) is playing the Beast; 3)Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson were joining in as well, I knew this movie will touch my heart immensely. I’ve had my doubts, as one does when something is as important to them since their childhood days, but they were gone the second the movie started.
There is not a single thing I did not like about this movie, really. By no means treat this post as a review, these are purely my thoughts, as I’ve been thinking continously about this movie since I saw it for the first time.
(If you haven’t seen the movie yet and want to stay spoiler-free, please don’t read the following part.)
Okay, the new intro is just as magical as the old one. It is different, but it’s kept in a fairytale style, but with more depth and an actual look at how the castle looked like before the curse. We also know now for sure that the prince was not 10 years old when he was transformed and that Chip was born before he became a tea cup. Personally, I did not really expect it to be any other way, but knowing that the castle staff were under the spell for 10 years, and yet Chip looked no more than about 8 years old was quite distrubing, and I know it sparked some questions among the audiences. We also know now why nobody came to the castle before Maurice/started wondering where on earth did the prince and his numerous staff dissappeared: the Enchantress made them forget. Mr Potts seems to be deeply troubled that he can’t remember what he lost: how awful it must have been, losing wife and son and not even really knowing.
Emma Watson captured her personality so well and added both depth and humanity to the princess who was, is and will be loved by so many. The ‘new’ Belle is incredibly believable and relatable on a level no other Disney heroine was before. In the 1991 animation we do get an idea that Belle is rather weird in the villagers’ point of view and that she must be alone in her way of seeing the world, but, as I said, it’s only an idea. The remake, on the other hand, explains more deeply how lonely she must really be; people not only mock her, but openly critisize her and even destroy the washing mashine she constructed to have more time to read (and teach little girls how to read, as the school is available only for boys; it’s painfully accurate how it’s the teacher that is mostly disgusted by the idea if a female reader). We also learn that she must be quite puzzled, because Maurice never told her what happened to her mother, whom he definitely misses and loves after all these years.
Belle also does no need to explain to Gaston why she is not interested, as she simply isn’t and that’s it. (Busy? No.) She does not obey Beast in any way; every choice she makes is caused by her will and hers only. And I love that.
Another legit backstory that explains main character’s ways? Yes? Yes! After death of his beloved mother, he was brought up by a cruel father, who turned him into a dapper, but unkind, egocentered prince. The staff actually blaims themselves for that, as they did nothing to prevent such upbringing and that’s why they have stayed with him for such a long time.
2017 version Beast is not illiterate, but, thank heavens, fully educated young man with what seems to be a great taste in literature. I live for the scene where Beast learns that Romeo and Juliet is Belle’s favourite play by Shakespeare. And for the one where he makes a joke about books in greek.
Belle and Beast’s relationship is electrifying. I’m amazed that in this version the blossoming feeling is equally as surprising for them both; Belle hates Beast, obviously, for imprisoning her father and later her; she finds him cruel and (surprise!) badly tempered. He is repulsed by the thought that the so called ‘the one’ may be a daughter of someone who he sees as thief (of a rose; such a lovely nod to the original book version of the tale). You can see exactly when and how they both start feeling that there actually may be something there that wasn’t there before.
GASTON AND LEFOU
With every character I am so amazed at the casting. Luke Evans and Josh Gad both seem as it they were born for their parts; they both look, sound, move and act just like I would imagine they should.
Again, we get a backstory and some changes that make a whole difference. Gaston’s actions are not justified, but in some way explained; he is both comical and terrifying. And has an amazing voice.
The fact that LeFou was going to be first offical gay character done by Disney sparked some worries that he will be just a comic relief and it will kind of destroy this fact. But you know what? IT WASN’T. His story is legitimate, he is a fully dimensional character, who in the end turns good and finds love in the arms of Stanley. Yay!
MUSIC AND COSTUMES
Both old and new songs are 10/10 for me. There is not much to say about it: I love all of them, Evermore breaks my heart, Gaston makes me want to dance, Belle makes me even more wanderlust. Thanks to this movie I now know who Audra McDonald is and I can marvel at her incredible voice, too.
Costumes are beautiful, it’s one of my dreams now to try on THE yellow ball dress and the flowery celebration one. Have you seen those shoes?
As I’ve written before – I loved everything about this movie. New and old elements of the story, they all impressed me immensely. Instead of talking too much about everything I’ll just pinpoint I’ve been listening to the soundtrack (!!!Evermore!!!Days In The Sun!!!) all.the.time. The movie moved me like only two other movies moved me before and I can’t get enough of it.
Thank you so much for reading!