Beauty and the Beast Review


Claire Donohoe, North Staff Writer


Disney’s remake of the classic “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson, is a live-action film directed by Bill Condon. Although the film is a remake of the original, it is also an adaptation of Condon’s perspective;  he adds a more in-depth description of the characters and overall background.

The film starts off with a flashback focusing on the self-indulged prince (Dan Stevens) who is cursed by an enchantress because of his lack of kindness towards unpleasant-looking town folk. In turn, the prince himself is transformed into a Beast to learn a lesson about judging others by appearance alone. In this lovely remake, the curse travels beyond the castle and affects the villagers’ memories until the curse is broken. Condon did an excellent job bringing clarity to this film, while he explained in further detail why none of the villagers had stumbled upon the castle.

Belle is portrayed as a headstrong woman who enters the beast’s castle to rescue her father, Maurice, by taking his place as captive. She eventually starts to feel welcomed at the castle with the help of the enchanted servants, and she  grows closer to the beast. It ends with a classic happily ever after as Belle breaks the spell and sets everyone free in the kingdom.

Condon made many improvements to this film while still making it feel like the same classic fairy-tale. Besides the perfect casting, the attentive detail with both the scenes and costumes made this remake come to life. As the costumes were adapted to the 18th century, the designer also did a great job updating Belle’s overall look to create a powerful modern character. The yellow gown was gorgeous, light, and airy, so Belle was able to move more easily in it; as much as I enjoyed seeing the gown, however, it could have been much more ethereal and fantastic. I will never forget Belle’s gown from the classic, which glowed in every scene.

The film stunned me the most by combining emotions from the classic film with additional new plot points. Condon was clever to create a more in-depth story line with the characters, while it intrigued me to keep watching. Adding the plague and the Beast’s evil father completed the story in a way the classic film was unable to do.

During the end of the film, everyone is dancing in their beautiful attire, including a new gay character Lefou (Josh Gad). Condon introduced the new character into the film positively, and did a terrific job making this film exemplify society’s progress. Condon’s unique perspective and details to both the film and characters was satisfying overall; however,  as much as I loved this new film, nothing can ever beat a classic.
Click here for the Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack including new songs.