Beauty and the Beast (2017) - Movie Review

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Can Disney knock it out of the park once again with "the tale as old as time"? Let's break down the live action rendition of Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and The Beast is directed by Bill Condon and is another Disney animated classic reinterpreted into a live action adaption, this time in the form of the 1991 feature of the same name. Everyone knows this story: a prince that is cursed because of his selfish attitude, is transformed into a beast and a young woman named Belle (played by Emma Watson), must learn to love this Beast in order to reverse the spell put upon him.

I've seen the original Beauty and the Beast a handful of times and while it's not one of my personal favorites from the Disney vault, it still is incredibly memorable. There are many iconic scenes and songs from the time-honored animation that hold up to this day. I can see why the original holds such merit with a lot of people and rightfully so. Needless to say, the fanbase is huge.

As far as this new adaption goes, while it may be more of the same, it certainly is not shy of embracing its effective roots. I'd say if you loved the original, you're going to have a ball with this spot on reimagining.

Emma Watson ("Belle") and Luke Evans ("Gaston") in "Beauty and the Beast."
Emma Watson ("Belle") and Luke Evans ("Gaston") in "Beauty and the Beast."

Besides a couple of small changes in regards to character and storytelling elements, this film is very much so a "beat-for-beat" of the original and it is done gorgeously. Scenes from the original feel as though they are stripped right from the drawing board and are choreographed to a tee. A great amount of CGI is seamlessly blended throughout the film to add on to the already impressive set design of this fable world. All these assets combined help this film retain the same nostalgia and atmosphere that its counterpart had right in 1991.

Belle and the Beast have great chemistry with one another, the audience can understand where both of them are coming from and why they're ultimately attracted to each other. Emma Watson captures the essences of the Belle character from her singing voice to her on-screen presence. Dan Stevens as the Beast nails this fierce, yet very sympathetic portrayal as the Beast should represent. In particular though, major praise goes to Luke Evans's performance as Gaston because he steals every scene he is in, giving an incredibly entertaining delivery throughout. The entire cast does an all around fantastic job.

Dan Stevens using Motion Capture as "The Beast"
Dan Stevens using Motion Capture as "The Beast"

Final Take

While this live adaption does play it very safe when it comes to altering the original source material, it is not necessarily a bad thing. It is still extremely faithful to the original and from what I saw, everything showcased does pay dividends. Why mess with a formula that worked the first time especially when it comes to a tale as old as time? What we got is another great, entertaining Disney property brought to life that old and new fans will enjoy thoroughly.

I'm going to give Beauty and the Beast a "B+" on the movie grading scale. Would I have wanted Disney to take more storytelling risks with this film? Sure, but I was still very content with what I got in the end. As the old motto goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and Disney hits another home run.

As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.

-Frank

Frawn-koh. Often confused with Frank the Tank. Movies are cool. | IG: imfrancobosco |