Saw Beauty and the Beast at the dine-in today. Enjoyed it overall, although, as I feared, it suffers from being … a largely shot-for-shot remake of a beloved classic. Which means that, alas, it’s largely a pale imitation.
However, there were nonetheless things that I enjoyed IMMENSELY. In the Prince’s first appearance, for example, he (as a human) is dolled up in this fucking gorgeous garish wild fantastic effeminate rococo makeup, and I freakin LOVED IT.
MORE ROCOCO DANCERS, PLEASE, DISNEY. MORE PRINCES IN EYE SHADOW AND ROUGE!!
Dan Stevens makes a great Beast, and “Evermore” really is a lovely song.
Luke Evans makes an even better Gaston, and Gaston actually gets some bits of backstory and depth that I liked, such as that he and LeFou have recently returned from war.
I know there’s been so much controversy about LeFou, but I really advise reserving judgment until you’ve watched the film. LeFou was actually one of my fave parts of the film and honestly bears little resemblance to his animated counterpart. He’s dry, sensible, very much the brains of the operation, and has an actual, sympathetic character arc.
That said, however, the creators have oversold the degree to which the film has any gay presence. LeFou’s attraction to Gaston is so subtle that someone not inclined to see it could easily ignore it, and the “gay moment” is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it. Literally: my friend blinked and she missed it.
There’s a decent amount of racial diversity, with black characters throughout the cast playing characters of all sorts. I was particularly fond of the bookseller.
I’ve heard a lot of criticism about Emma Watson’s singing. Her singing is … fine, by normal human standards. But this is a musical. It’s probably not great for the lead character to be the weakest singer in the entire cast.
The CGI characters are not the best. They really lack expressiveness and personality. I mean, I know they’re supposed to be made of hard materials, but I honestly got bored during “Be Our Guest” because despite however much life Ewan McGregor put into his voice, the Lumiere on screen remained pretty stiff and static and dull.
And again, seriously, I know this is just my personal philosophy about remakes, but go big or go home, my dudes. If the original is so beloved that you’ll never top it, why even try to do the same shots, the same outfits, the same dialogue? You’re unlikely to improve upon them, so make the film your own instead. My favorite parts of this film were the original bits: the Prince in his ball makeup, the dancing and swordplay during “Gaston,” LeFou’s character arc, Paris, Agatha. I didn’t like all the updated lyrics, but I’m all for updating other aspects.
All that said, though, I still enjoyed it; it was fun, it was gorgeous to look at, and there were parts that truly captured my imagination. I would absolutely watch it again. Though I was not, perhaps, as emotionally invested as the drunk girl next to me seemed to think. She offered me a napkin during the Beast’s death scene because she thought I was crying. My allergies have been bad. I was sniffling because of a stuffed nose.
But thank you, drunk girl. I really appreciate that you care.
“Philly, the home of the cheesesteaks Oh, I want a cheesesteak I’m so hungry, Hungry for the title I’ll settle for a cheesecake Cheesecake, the cake that you make The cake that you got Where the beat go?”
“Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?” asked Scrimgeour.“No, I’m not,” retorted Hermione. “I’m hoping to do some good in the world!”
“We protest! And I’m hunted quite as much as any goblin or elf, Griphook! I’m a Mudblood!” “Don’t call yourself —” Ron muttered. “Why
shouldn’t I?” said Hermione. “Mudblood, and proud of it! I’ve got no
higher position under this new order than you have, Griphook! It was me
they chose to torture, back at the Malfoys’!”