I had so low expectations for the new Beauty and the Beast movie that I actually ended up enjoying it. This doesn’t make it good.
The problem with it is that it’s a remake of a movie that is already perfect, which makes it totally pointless. I’m not against remakes but why would you remake something that is already very good?
In the case of fairy tales, less is more. Somethings should be left implicit. The original movie could suggest a lot in one single scene, the new one seems to think that it has to explain everything. I really don’t have to know that Belle’s mother died because of the plague. Like, I really don’t have to.
All of this excessive information about the characters create the illusion that they’re more multi-dimensional than their animated counterparts, but I don’t think that this is the case. The characters aren’t especially deep in either version and they don’t have to be, but the original characters had warmth and humanity to them, everybody was more spirited in the older version.
I think this has a lot do with the older version being animated. Things like the personalities of the inanimate objects or the excessive narcissism of Gaston are really hard to get across in a live action movie.
The song Beast sang after Belle left was horrible and unnecessary and it was full of self-pity and it completely ruined what was a beautiful touching scene.
But the biggest problem of the movie is Emma Watson. She can’t sing. The only facial expression she has is “I understand your agony and I pity you”. She can’t do someone in love or someone angry. She tries but it’s kind of tragic that an animated version ended up having more personality than hers.
There are some stuff that was better in the new version. I think the tragedy of the situations of the servants in the castle was far more felt in this one; and what was effectively their death scene was the best scene in the whole movie. I think the close mindedness of the villagers was also more developed in this version, which I’ve liked. I’ve liked the new versions of Maurice and Le Fou better, though I didn’t like the backstory with Maurice. I’ve also liked how the villagers recognized their old relatives who were turned into objects, that was a nice scene.
Belle wasn’t good, Beast wasn’t good, Gaston was passable. All in all, it isn’t that good and you don’t have to see it.