Beauty And The Beast

It largely resembles the Beast throwing up in your face for two hours

Beauty And The Beast is the remake of 1991’s classic animation of the same name. It follows Belle (Emma Watson) an educated girl living in a small, closed-minded French village. When her father goes missing on a trip to the market, she sets out to search for him. Belle arrives at a castle where her father is being held captive by a hideous Beast (Dan Stevens). Belle takes his place as prisoner, and forms a strange relationship with the Beast and those he lives with.

The film largely resembles the Beast throwing up in your face for two hours. The vomit however, is musically inclined and has a hampering for vivacious colours. It is cut at such a fast pace there is no time to actually take in what is on the screen. The costumes are amazing, but none of the surroundings can really be taken in, because everything happens so fast; Or it at least seems to. It even goes to the extent a Michael Bay film would. It’s over two hours long and there really isn’t any need to rush through the film in the way it does. It’s counterproductive and the plot is fairly linear and straightforward, so lends itself to a casual pace.

The performances on the other hand are fairly steady. Emma Watson is quite commanding as Belle and Dan Stevens’ Beast is more playful that he could easily have been. Luke Evans however, puts in the best performance as Gaston. He shows off just the right amount of villainy, while appearing as a visual embodiment of The Daily Mail. A larger than life character played with a grand sense of entitlement.

beauty-beast-2017-gaston2

Yet, the animation on the whole is fairly weak. The designs just aren’t special enough. The original had fun and lively characters but here the filmmakers have struggled to make them stand out. The characterisation by Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen and such is wonderful, but they are trying to bring to life quite frankly boring animations. Any detail is lost with the unimaginative use of colour which in itself is strange because the rest of the film is very upfront.

Then again, Beauty And The Beast is a musical and each of the numbers holds its own and brings together a fairly well directed production. Be Our Guest is wonderfully mesmerising and Gaston’s duet with LeFou is potentially the film’s highlight. The music is perhaps the film’s saving grace.

It’s okay. The musical numbers are grandiose and enjoyable but the continuous cutting makes the whole film seem like a bit of a blur, and can be quite jarring. There’s fun to be had, but it really does need to be intricately searched for.

3/5

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