“Why Beauty and the Beast (2017) Actually SUCKS!”
“I Hate the New Beauty and the Beast Live Action Movie and Here’s Why”
“Let’s Not Mince Words: Beauty and the Beast is a Terrible Movie”
“The Beauty and the Beast Remake is a Long Series of Wasted Opportunities”
“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Remake Misunderstood Everything About the Original”
These and a dozen other posts convinced me that Beauty and the Beast (2017) was quite possibly the worst Disney film ever put to screen. Emma Watson was ugly + a bad singer + a bad actor! The CGI was horrific nightmare fuel! The plot was long, boring, and sucked dry of everything that made the original film magical!
Did we all watch the same movie?
Because I watched a Beauty and the Beast that was gorgeous and full of emotion and deeper characterization and so many good themes that resonated with me. When I finished the film, I messaged Katie and said “This is my Beauty and the Beast.” I do like the original but I loved the remake. So much. There are a couple places where I felt it wasn’t as great as it could have been – ‘Be Our Guest’s tempo was slower and it threw off my enjoyment of the scene and the ballroom dance was surprisingly lackluster. (And there’s the whole gay controversy which I am NOT getting into, but…I didn’t appreciate it. :P)
But overall…I LOVE IT. And I’m going to make a list of reasons why because that’s how I do things around here.
The remake is forty-five minutes longer than the original film and none of that time is wasted. There are a few new songs but, for the most part, that time is taken up with bringing different characters to life in ways that the original didn’t. Emma Watson’s Belle is a more well-rounded heroine (which is saying something, since OG Belle is pretty amazing) – she’s made a few friends in the village, she invents things, she takes a more active role in her relationship with the Beast, and you learn more of her backstory too. I always thought that Belle and her father had come from Paris and that’s partly why she was upset with her ‘provincial life’ so it was nice to see that confirmed. (Though she didn’t really remember Paris since she was a baby when she left.)
I LOVED how the Beast’s backstory was changed! Instead of being a spoiled child when he was cursed, he was the kind of aristocrat that made the French Revolution ?necessary? The opening scene, with how villainous he is, is actually kind of chilling. And then you learn more about his super tragic past and…it’s sooooo good. Adds a whole new depth to his character.
I also appreciated how Maurice wasn’t a buffoon, Gaston wasn’t clownish, and the townspeople were multi-faceted. (I cried when they were all reunited with their families at the end.) The castle servants were pretty much the same? I like how Plumette had a larger role.
I want to live in this film. It’s so vibrant and darkly tragic by turns with glorious sunsets and gloomy rooms and everything in between. I get that a lot of it is CGI, but STILL. Disney live action remakes satisfy a deep aesthetic longing in me – everything from The Jungle Book to Cinderella to Maleficent…and now this. (Even The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was eye candy, if boring.) It’s all so perfect and gorgeous and beautifully lit.
And this isn’t really cinematography-related, but can we all stop and appreciate the Beast’s maze-like front yard? It’s so cool and creepy!
A TALE AS OLD AS TIME, MADE NEW
I have had a LOT of discussions with One Particular Person (you know who you are) about Disney remakes and why they seem to split Disney fans into two camps (#love/#hate). I think most of it comes down to nostalgia. I know from experience that if you watch/enjoy a movie as a little kid you will often unconditionally love it as an adult + be very possessive and protective of it.
In my case, I didn’t watch movies from Disney’s ‘Golden Age’ until I was quite a bit older (some of them, like The Lion King, not until this year) and so often I can’t see why they are so universally, undyingly beloved. Yes, they are good – even great – movies. But they haven’t captured me with their magic, unlike the remakes which delve more deeply into character motivation and they’re great to look at and they tend to take everything I liked about the OG films and do more with it.
So that’s why I love Beauty and the Beast (2017). The filmmakers took a familiar story and put their own spin on it, deepening some elements and tying the whole thing together with stunning costumes and new songs and beautiful scenery. It’s almost like a retelling and I love those so…yeah. ❤
Have you seen Beauty and the Beast (2017)? What did you think of it? Which version of the film do you prefer?