A real tale as old as time is on the docket for discussion next; A remake of Beauty and the Beast from the lovable, profit making mega-giant Disney again. Aside from just printing money from Marvel movies, It seems that they are really on the ball with redoing their old classics in real life. We’ve had Cinderella and the Jungle Book as two recent examples where things were slightly changed and updated to tell the stories we already know. Cinderella passed me by, while I did see and enjoy the new Jungle book, even if given the tone they were going for that the songs were just way out of place.
Seriously, Christopher Walken singing “I wanna be like you”, was just weird.
So when this remake came along about a girl who eventually falls in love with a monster who learns to be kind and loving again, you would wonder how it would do in comparison to the 1991 Animated version which won a couple of Shiny Shiny things. But back then there wasn’t as much Oscar bait when they released films then now.
I’m going to be honest here, this was bad in comparison to the 1991 film and I would state now, go and watch that instead. Take the money you would have paid at the cinema and just buy the 1991 classic if you’ve not got it already and just enjoy that instead.
They follow a huge amount from what takes place in the original, however alter enough to then make you think; Hang on, that doesn’t make sense?!?!?! For example, and this is right at the beginning of the film, so not too bad in terms of spoilers; Kevin Kline who plays Belle’s father in this new version. Unlike the 1991 original who was a crackpot inventor who was all over the place at times, this version was an artist who fixed clocks from time to time.
He was gentle and clearly in command of his faculties. So when it came to him asking for help from the villagers later in the film to rescue Belle (Emma Watson) from the Beast, it was just off. They accused Kevin Kline of being crazy like he’d always been, and yet, he had never really showed that trait before! What gives?
Gaston, played by Luke Evans, was not built like a barge, so when he sung that line, it was….well…. COME ON, YOU’RE F**KING NORMAL SIZE AT BEST! Josh Gad’s Lefou was great, but he was no bumbling fool, in fact he seemed to think more than Gaston did through a lot of the film! In fact most of the cast didn’t really seem to fit their parts, and oh dear god, where do I start with Emma Watson?
When the Rock can’t sing in Moana, you really don’t care as his charm and personality clearly wins the day and “You’re Welcome” becomes one of the best songs in the entire picture. When Emma sings, I just want her to stop imitating William Shatner with her speaking singing. It’s not make your ears bleed bad, but seriously, for Belle, you could have done much better.
The animated Belle was more human and hell, I tell you what, had more emotion! The Beast in this was also mostly forgettable, save for one part where he didn’t really care about Belle at all, and at that point I was rooting for him more than anything to stay a miserable b*stard as what he said made sense yet…. it screws up things! So it’s no longer the Beast trying to make Belle feel at home etc, but nope it’s the damned Candlestick plotting everything?
There was no chemistry between Belle and the Beast for the vast majority of the film, so when they come to do the whole dancing ballroom thing, well, why? Why did they do it as clearly they don’t really feel for each other judging from what I was watching. And don’t get me started on the whole MAGIC BOOK that CAN TAKE YOU ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD which used ONCE for an extra bit of exposition in Paris and then forgotten about. Why? Just Why?
So far this mini meh has been mostly negative you might say. Nega-meh. And you’d be right.
That’s not to say there were some good parts to this film. The songs updated from the original like “Be Our Guest” were really well done and were basically the points where the film was at its best. The new songs however were dull, plodding and you were glad when they were over. I actually really liked the idea that as time went on, the Beast’s castle would crumble a bit more and the servants who had been turned into random furniture were becoming less alive, leading to a really dark and wonderfully thought out scene towards the end.
All in all this version I believe was just to make money and only went to show more how much better they did it all in 1991.
I can’t recommend anyone spend their hard earned money on this version, and as I said before, stick to the 1991 edition. Not only were the characters in that better, more human and hell acted much better, the songs were better sung and had a great deal of life to them, the film was leaner and made more sense. This had stuff added for no reason and actually served to sabotage itself.