Home Reviews Film Review – Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Film Review – Beauty and the Beast (2017)

by Nick Kush
Beauty and the Beast

Disney has taken it upon themselves to give all their classic stories a face lift by making them into live-action films.  The next one on the list may just be the most popular Disney story of all: Beauty and the Beast.  The following review will be spoiler free.

Synopsis

Beauty and the Beast is directed by Bill Condon and stars Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, and Luke Evans.

The film is a re-imagining of the timeless story which follows Belle (Watson) as she is taken prisoner in a castle owned by a Beast (Stevens).  Despite her worries, Belle befriends the enchanted staff members of the castle and begins to learn that the Beast may not be as gruesome as he seems.  All the while, the treacherous Gaston (Evans) bans the townsfolk against the Beast in order to get rid of him once and for all.

Background

As the marketing for Beauty and the Beast began to increase, news started to break on the slate of live-action remakes of classic animated tales currently in production at Disney including Aladdin, Mulan, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid among many, many others.  Considering Disney is currently on a hot streak with three straight well received adaptations (Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Pete’s Dragon), this news was met with much excitement from fans everywhere.

Not only does this idea make financial sense for Disney, it also has the potential to add little changes to the source material that can benefit the film’s themes to ring more resonant in today’s society.  While we all love some of these properties, there’s no doubting that some of them are definitely a product of the times they were created in.  I enjoyed what Disney did with Cinderella, giving the story a face lift while giving characters some added motivations.  If these films are all done in such a way, we could be on the brink of something special.

As for Beauty and the Beast, was it able to conquer this aforementioned task?

Beauty and the Beast
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image via Digital Spy

What I Liked

While it may be a slave to the original, this new version of Beauty and the Beast is certainly an enjoyable ride.

The creative team involved with the film deserves a ton of credit for the production design of this film.  Every frame oozes with color and pops with life.  I would be shocked if next year that Beauty and the Beast was not nominated for production design.  Each character looks perfect as the costume design captures the old French feel that the source material requires.  For lack of a better word, Beauty and the Beast looks pretty magical, sucking you back into the world that you love.

However, what really gives the film its heart is the performances.  As you can probably imagine, Emma Watson is absolutely elegant as Belle, showing that she has the singing voice to pair with her heartwarming acting abilities.  Her interactions with Dan Stevens’ Beast feel very genuine and thoughtful, recapturing the love story that is endeared by many.  Despite being in motion capture for most of the movie, Dan Stevens adds a lot of charm to the Beast character, adding a new wrinkle to the character that wasn’t very present in the original animated movie.  Although the look of Beast succumbs to the uncanny valley effect with less than top notch CGI at times, Stevens makes up for it with plenty of charisma.

Beauty and the Beast

image via Digital Spy

What I Liked…Continued

However, it’s Luke Evans as Gaston that steals the show.  If there was ever someone that born to play a certain role, we have certainly found it in this case.  Evans flawlessly captures the oaf-like nature of the popular character, exuding the panache and brashness necessary for this seemingly larger than life character.  He and Lefou (Josh Gad) play very well off each other throughout the film.  The best part of the film may be their famous song which translated very well to live-action.

Beauty and the Beast

image via Harper’s Bazaar

What I Didn’t Like

Beauty and the Beast is not without its faults, however.  The central relationship of the story between Belle and the Beast feels quite rushed at a certain point in the film.  One second the two are enemies and then all of a sudden they appear to have feelings for each other.  Although it montages through the same progression in the animated classic, it does not translate as well to live-action as the passage of time feels limited to say the least.

The film also starts off a little bumpy with terribly on the nose dialogue.  This is another instance where the film attempted to use the exact same dialogue as the animated feature.  However, these moments could have used a little more subtext as the blunt discussion of marriage and children felt a tad awkward with actual people spouting the lines.

Beauty and the Beast

image via MovieWeb

Conclusion

That being said, Beauty and the Beast has some nice little changes to the iconic story.  This film is a little more than just a straight reboot of the original.  The film adds some new songs that worked naturally with the story, allowing for some new heart to be added.  Beauty and the Beast also adds in a little extra backstory by exploring what happened to Belle’s mother which was never mentioned in the animated film.

Little moments like these added nice touches to the film, making it feel like its own product.  But the main change that has most people buzzing is the announcement that Lefou is a gay character.  It actually plays very naturally into the story while also making sense of the nature of Lefou and his interactions with Gaston.

Beauty and the Beast is a lovely, heartwarming update that continues the Disney live-action hot streak.  It gets an A-.  Make sure to buy your ticket in advance as this movie will certainly break the bank at the box office.

Beauty and the Beast

image via Comicbook.com

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Thanks for reading!  Have you seen Beauty and the Beast?  Comment down below!

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What movie topic should I discuss next?  Whether it be old or new, the choice is up to you!

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58 comments

TheScribbleDuck December 20, 2017 - 12:52 pm

I love how you’ve explained the premise and the winning points of the movie without giving much away. And yes, I did feel the way their love culminates seems rushed, probably because it was essentially a musical with SOOOOO much to embed in limited time. Also, as much as I loved the visuals and dialogues (and the composition), I wish it were a regular movie and not a musical, so I could savor some silence and not have everything spelled out for me. That said, I am absolutely thrilled by the acting prowess of the leads (Watson and Stevens) just as much as I am bowled over by how seamlessly the other characters have supported the story.

Once again, great review 🙂

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Nick Kush December 20, 2017 - 1:04 pm

That’s an interesting point in making it a regular film, it would definitely make for a different experience that I don’t think Disney would ever do since they can bank on the songs getting them sooooooooo much money lol. Thanks so much for your kind words!

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TheScribbleDuck December 21, 2017 - 1:36 am

True. Moolah trumps all else ;).

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Nick Kush December 21, 2017 - 9:32 am

Unfortunately!

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chanellehblog December 10, 2017 - 6:49 am

I really liked this review! loved the way you broke the film down into sections. such a great film also!
could you please comment under my blog about the Lovebox festival review? would be great, thanks.

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Nick Kush December 10, 2017 - 8:13 am

??

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shahzodav June 29, 2017 - 2:55 pm

I really liked this movie, especially the ending and the new songs (I probably know the Beast’s song better than the original ones lol) but I felt like some of the editing/scenes was awkward. Sometimes it just felt stitched and not like a smooth whole. Anyhow, great review!

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Nick Kush June 29, 2017 - 3:06 pm

I could understand that! I think I had a similar feeling during the first musical number

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Dominik March 29, 2017 - 2:45 pm

Reblogged this on DPNews.

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MovieBabble March 29, 2017 - 2:47 pm

Thanks so much!

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Millennial Movies March 28, 2017 - 4:06 am

It’s great to see other people acknowledge the greatness of this film as well. I know there are some problems but I believe that it is due to the fact people wanted a reimagining not a remake.

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MovieBabble March 28, 2017 - 4:10 am

But then those same people that wanted a reimagining would complain if it went in a direction that was totally different! Sometimes you just can’t win with remakes lol

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Millennial Movies March 28, 2017 - 4:41 am

You really can’t. That’s part of the problem you can’t please everyone so you shouldn’t try

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MovieBabble March 28, 2017 - 4:42 am

Couldn’t agree more! Make the movie you want to make!

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Millennial Movies March 28, 2017 - 4:45 am

I feel thats what they did. I really enjoyed it and thought the cast were incredible. Josh Gad was a show stealer for me

MovieBabble March 28, 2017 - 4:51 am

For me it was Luke Evans as Gaston! Perfect casting!

zableedingpen March 22, 2017 - 12:26 am

Saw it tonight- I enjoyed it- Mostly cause I can relate to the Beast☺

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MovieBabble March 22, 2017 - 12:40 am

Lol I’m glad you liked it!

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Christina Schwartz March 20, 2017 - 2:40 pm

We saw the early showing Thursday night, going to see it again today with my daughter and I can’t wait! I thought Disney did an amazing job!!!

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MovieBabble March 20, 2017 - 2:44 pm

It certainly brings back the magic!

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Ansley Approved March 20, 2017 - 12:15 pm

Very nice review! Glad to see someone else really enjoyed it! As you saw in my review i agree with most of what you said.

Thank you for the like and follow! It means a lot.

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MovieBabble March 20, 2017 - 12:33 pm

You got it! Happy to help!

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projectedrealities March 19, 2017 - 12:44 am

Good review! And thank you so much for liking my review of “Noble” and following my blog — I gratefully appreciate both!

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MovieBabble March 19, 2017 - 6:24 pm

You got it!

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Cassandra.Fawley March 18, 2017 - 11:31 am

I’m so relieved to see the A-. Did not read the entire post, but I was hoping this movie would not be a disaster. Will read after I see it

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MovieBabble March 18, 2017 - 3:06 pm

If you enjoyed the original you’ll have fun!

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Another Girl With Fantasies March 18, 2017 - 5:46 am

Going to watch it ?

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MovieBabble March 18, 2017 - 5:50 am

Have fun!

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Another Girl With Fantasies March 18, 2017 - 5:56 am

Thanks

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stevejdonahue March 18, 2017 - 2:01 am

Interesting review. By how you describe many of the performances, it’s like I watched a different movie than you did. I thought Evans and Watson were dull as mop water, Dan Stevens was uneven, and only Josh Gad does what I would describe as “good”.

But hey, different strokes.

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MovieBabble March 18, 2017 - 2:45 am

Very interesting! This is one of the reasons I got into writing movie reviews because no matter what you think there’s the opposite out there as well. I assume you disliked the film overall?

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stevejdonahue March 18, 2017 - 2:47 am

Yep.
I was pretty thorough in my review, but my primary complaint was just how emotionally detached all of the performances seemed, ESPECIALLY all of the dialogue parts that were from the original.

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MovieBabble March 18, 2017 - 3:33 am

I could see that. I talked a little about that in my review as well as you already know. Although it wasn’t as big of a detractor for me.

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stevejdonahue March 18, 2017 - 3:44 am

Fair enough. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

MovieBabble March 18, 2017 - 3:46 am

Thanks for being civil lol

moviesland2017 March 17, 2017 - 10:46 pm

very nice review

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MovieBabble March 17, 2017 - 11:45 pm

Thanks a lot!

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lupa08 March 17, 2017 - 10:01 pm

A very succinct review. Really can’t wait to hit the theater next weekend! ?

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MovieBabble March 17, 2017 - 11:44 pm

Thanks so much! I really appreciated it!

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Jason March 17, 2017 - 8:26 pm

Great review. Finally….someone who likes this movie as much as I did.

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MovieBabble March 17, 2017 - 8:34 pm

I was very surprised to see its RT score was only around 68-70%. I guess people maybe wanted something completely different? Who knows!

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Jason March 17, 2017 - 8:36 pm

I know…right. I was surprised to see that as well. For me, I was completely satisfied with this live-action version.

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MovieBabble March 17, 2017 - 8:38 pm

Obviously I was pretty satisfied too! Sometimes you just can’t trust the critics!

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victoriouspages March 17, 2017 - 7:48 pm

After reading this review, I’m definitely going to watch that tale which is as old as time!

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MovieBabble March 17, 2017 - 7:51 pm

Glad I could help! Enjoy yourself!

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The Animation Commendation March 17, 2017 - 7:28 pm

Hopefully, I find something I like about this film!

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MovieBabble March 17, 2017 - 7:51 pm

I think you will!

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Ally L. Mare March 17, 2017 - 4:06 pm

Currently in my country, Disney decided to postponed this movie even after some minor cut.

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MovieBabble March 17, 2017 - 4:33 pm

That sucks! What country?

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Ally L. Mare March 18, 2017 - 1:38 am

Malaysia. It sucks indeed!

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MovieBabble March 18, 2017 - 2:43 am

Well I hope you get to watch it soon!

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Mila March 17, 2017 - 4:04 pm

Thanks for the reviews!! I was planning to hit the movies this week!!

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MovieBabble March 17, 2017 - 4:32 pm

No problem! Happy to help!

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James Prestridge March 17, 2017 - 3:55 pm

Excited to see this!

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MovieBabble March 17, 2017 - 3:56 pm

You should be! Make sure to get your ticket ahead of time!

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