Beauty and the Beast Review
by H. Thomas
***** 5 Stars
‘Beauty and the Beast is completely joyous, magical and inspiring, and is a film that children and adults will love for years to come.’
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans & Josh Gad
A live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1991 film, the traditional fairy tale plot tells the story of a vain prince (Dan Stevens) who was cursed by an enchantress to live as a beast until he could love another and gain their love in return. He stays in his castle with servants, who have also been turned into household objects, losing hope until, one day, a man steals a rose from his garden. He captures this man and imprisons him, until his daughter Belle (Emma Watson), a young woman desperate to live a fulfilling life and escape the attentions of the egotistical hunter Gaston (Luke Evans), comes searching for him, and takes his place in the castle. [SPOILERS AHEAD] At first Belle and the Beast are hostile towards each other, but through the kindness and hard work of the servants and their shared interests in reading, the two grow closer, almost falling in love before Belle finds out that her father, having tried to convince the villagers from her small town to rescue her, is being sent to an asylum for exposing Gaston’s attempt to kill him. Belle is freed from the castle and proves her father’s claims of the beast to be true with magic, only for Gaston and his reluctant sidekick LeFou (Josh Gad) to gather a mob to kill the beast. The mob are taken down by the unsuspecting living household objects while Gaston chases the heartbroken Beast through the castle. When Belle arrives, the Beast tries to get to her, but Gaston shoots him. In their final moments together, Belle tells the Beast of her love for him. The enchantress, disguised as a peasant, sees their love and reverses the spell, allowing the beast to become human, as well as his castle staff, and get married, after Gaston’s confidence gets the better of him and he falls from a crumbling pillar, never to harass Belle again.
Every part of this adaptation, from the costumes, to the houseware-servants, to the telling of the story itself, is simply magical. Each actor plays their part fantastically, with Emma Watson creating an authentic, intelligent Belle reminiscent of her much-loved animated predecessor, as well as Watson’s previous well-known role as Hermione Granger, and Luke Evans portrays Gaston as a comical, but also frighteningly realistic villain. Josh Gad in particular does a perfect job at not only playing LeFou as a long-suffering sidekick looking up to Gaston, but also does justice to him as the first openly gay character in a Disney film, creating history. The message that beauty is found within shines throughout the whole film, and the score (including adaptations such as Be Our Guest as well as new songs like Days in the Sun) convey the magic only Disney can create. Beauty and the Beast is completely joyous, magical and inspiring, and is a film that children and adults will love for years to come.
Beauty and the Beast is currently available on Sky and Disney +. It was rated PG by the BBFC.