I finally broke down and saw Beauty and the Beast. Mainly because my friend wanted to go and the theater the movie was at serves chocolate popcorn. I never turn down chocolate popcorn.
I have a lot of thoughts about this movie.
First, let me say that Belle is not my favorite Disney princess. I know that she likes to read and for some people that one thing makes her the best princess ever, but in my opinion that’s just one characteristic. Plenty of people like to read – that does not make them good people.
Second, I get that Belle wants adventure but, especially in the opening song, she is really rude to the people in her town. It’s like she looks down on the townspeople because they are content to live in the town and don’t want to leave. I mean, the first thing you hear Belle say is “Little town, it’s a quiet village, every day like the one before, little town full of little people.”
Third, Belle’s whole refrain is that she wants adventure in the great wide somewhere and something more than this provincial life, which I guess means marrying a prince? Because she doesn’t really go on any adventures, unless you count going to a magical castle, and she doesn’t travel anywhere considering the castle is right next to the town.
And I’m not even going to discuss that she basically trespasses in the Beast’s castle in the beginning and again after she is told not to go to the west wing.
That being said, I do have to say that I love the music in Beauty and the Beast. I think the songs are amazing and I fully understand why it won Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song. Before you think that I completely hate Belle, I love the relationship between Belle and her father and I like that Belle was willing to sacrifice herself for her him and take his place in the Beast’s castle.
I thought the movie was okay.
I know this is another unpopular opinion, but I am not a huge fan of Emma Watson and I think she’s a bit overrated. I think again, people look at her and think she’s pretty and she reads! And that’s why they love her. But I don’t. I just don’t see a range in her acting and her acting choices and I feel like she always plays the same character.
In this movie, I felt like she was basically playing herself or what people think she is. Again, not a lot of range here. Plus, in every scene, she looked like she was thinking really hard – it was mostly her only facial expression. Also I felt that she was lacking some of the feistiness of the animated Belle character.
I thought Watson’s singing was fine. She can carry a tune but she won’t be appearing in any Broadway musicals soon. However, even her singing was kind of one note. I never really heard her change register or belt out a note.
Other thoughts on the movie:
I was extremely disappointed because some of my favorite lines were missing:
Gaston: Lefou, I’m afraid I’ve been thinking.
Lefou: A dangerous pastime.
Gaston: I know!
I laugh at those lines every time and quote them often! While Luke Evans did a great job, I thought that Gaston was meaner in this movie. I felt in the animated movie he was more comical and arrogant and narcissistic, just more cartoonish all around so you didn’t take him very seriously. Additionally the Gaston song didn’t work as well here because they weren’t able to replicate the over the top things where Gaston busts the belt with his neck or lifts the three girls up at once.
I honestly could have done without the backstory of Belle’s mom. I’m not sure why that was added in as I never wondered what happened to her. I know that the people in charge changed some things and tried to fill in backstory to fix some of the errors from the cartoon. There were also some new songs – I don’t really know that they added much to the movie. I thought the Beast’s ballad was kind of out of place and it just really didn’t fit in the movie.
When I first heard that a live action Beauty and the Beast was being made, I was a little curious as to how all of the magical objects would look. Let me tell you, the CGI was not convincing. The Beast’s face never looked real and the human girl/Beast was way more creepier as a live action. There’s a lot you can get away with in cartoons that just do not translate into live action. Here it was as if the CGI people couldn’t come to a decision on how human-like to make the household objects. Mrs. Potts looked literally like a teapot with a poorly drawn on face, but Lumiere looked like a man with flames on his hands.
One more thing I found odd: After the infamous gold dress dance where the Beast lets Belle go because her father is in danger, Belle leaves the castle and gets on her horse still wearing the gold ball gown! How do you ride a horse in that dress? Then later she just takes the dress off to ride back to the castle, so presumably she is riding in her undergarments?
Like I said, I thought the movie was okay. I do have a pretty low bar when it comes to movies – I am only looking to be entertained and Beauty and the Beast entertained me for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon.