Movie Review:

Belle of the theatre

By Alana Edgin
On March 23, 2017

Remakes almost always suck the life from die hard fans. But, on March 17, I braved the "Beauty and the Beast" premiere.

There has been controversy over the addition of the subplot storyline of Gaston’s sidekick, Lefou, and plenty of "Disney fans" said they wouldn’t go for this reason.

Well, while Lefou was all for dating Gaston for a part of the movie, viewers also saw Lefou as a multi-faceted character.

This was never seen in the original.

Lefou wasn’t the only one to get an added backstory either. Codsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, even Beast and Belle gained some beautiful backstories.

Viewers learned what happened to Belle and Beast’s mothers.

Another concern with remakes, live or otherwise, is change.

When someone has grown up with the classic, it is hard to see Hollywood destroy a "perfect" story.

Amazingly, Disney stuck true to the base plot of B&B.

Now, I’ll admit, my main reason for going to the movie was seeing Emma Watson, aka Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series, become the intelligent and brave princess Belle.

I hadn’t heard her sing or act in anything else, so I was a bit worried.

Watson as Belle was perfect. She portrayed the witty princess with the same humor and brain she did in her role as Hermione, yet stayed true to Belle’s character.

Dan Stevens as Beast was fair as well.

With all the backstory additions, it held Beast to a sadder past. Stevens/Beast also had his own song.

The added backstories to previously flat characters also brought viewers’ hearts closer to the side characters.

It fixed some plot holes as well, such as the time element. In the original, it felt like generations passed between the beginning of Beast’s curse and Belle’s arrival.

This version added a little to the myth, and I don’t want to give it away, but it makes more sense and takes away the age gap between Beast and Belle.

Some famous scenes in the movie, such as the ballroom and library, were done beautifully.

The library matched the original exactly.

Cinematic techniques reminiscent of the Great Hall’s sky in Harry Potter were used in the ballroom.

If you aren’t a fan of Harry Potter, don’t worry, the movie stays true to the Disney classic.

There are a few HP references, but they are hidden for fans.

As for the negative, I have to say they started Gaston off too nicely.

He is a rude, arrogant man who really cares nothing for Belle.

The movie makes Belle’s father a painter, instead of an inventor, with few inventor traits.

I’d say Beauty and the Beast adds far more than it takes, and is certainly worth the money.

Viewers will learn about all characters, maybe cry a little, hear some great singing and partake in an eloquently made French legend.

Disney’s remake could very well be the Belle of this year’s movie ball.

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