The newest Disney live action remake sticks to the tale as old as time
By: Chloe Steinig
The latest film in the string of live action remakes, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast revamps the tale as old as time while sticking closely to its source material. Starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, the cast of characters and narrative make the story seem magical again. From the musical numbers we all know to the love story that unfolds, the film is as well done as the original.
Watson proves her singing chops as the film opens with “Belle,” as the viewer is introduced to the village and all of the unique characters in it. Although developed in the original, the supporting characters are definitely more involved in the story and it only enhances the tale. The charismatic duo Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad) keeps the audience laughing and entertained, from Gaston’s narcissism to LeFou’s obsession with being close to Gaston’s side.
Once at the Beast’s castle after Belle takes her father’s place as the Beast’s prisoner, the film starts to shine. The audience can’t help but fall in love with all of the household objects that come to life like Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and Chip. “Be Our Guest” is one of the most memorable parts of the film, with the impeccable life-like animation and Lumiere (Ewan McGregor) spinning around a chandelier making hearts ache as the viewer is brought back to the first time they ever heard the song.
The slight difference between the original and this film is that in this, the audience gets a glimpse into the backstory of both Belle and the Beast. When Belle is starting to warm up to the Beast, he takes her to a place she has always wanted to see via a magical book. The viewer learns that Belle has struggled with not knowing how her mother died, and in this windmill and Paris she sees her mother dying from the plague with baby Belle crying in a crib. The Beast has a similar tragic backstory, with his mother dying when he was young, leading to his father raising him to be the cold hearted prince that was cursed by the homeless beggar.
This backstory only brings Belle and the Beast closer together and is almost a narrative that should have been included in the original. It shows that their bond goes beyond being outsiders in their realms and their love for books. It shows that their love is strong and real. As the Beast picks up Belle in her iconic yellow gown, spinning around the ballroom surrounded by gold sparkles, the audience can’t help but feel it too.