Disney’s new, live action film Beauty and the Beast has been the number one movie in the world for the last two weeks. It has made over $90 million, and for good reason.
Despite being similar to the 1991 animated version, new songs, that were fantastically composed, added a different take to the familiar story. The Beast’s background is enhanced with knowledge of a formerly hopeful boy losing a mother and being left in the hands of an abusive father in the song, “Days in the Sun.” This made the Beast more relatable than just some innately vain figure that rejects an old woman.
Dan Stevens (the Beast) performed another new song that added even more depth to the aloof character. “Evermore,” is the formerly unheard soliloquy of the Beast’s heart when Belle rides back to her father. When an actor has on a 50 pound muscle suit, is on 10 inch stilts, and can still manage such a emotional performance is marked down as wonderful in my book.
Emma Watson also wowed audiences with her performance of the bookish princess. Although she is, and always will be, remembered as the heroine of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise, Watson lived up to all expectations of playing another strong, knowledgeable woman.
The story enveloped audiences with its eye-catching cinematography and realistic CGI. Breath-taking shots were used to create the sense of wonder and magic that Beauty and Beast has always been known for. The transformation of the Beast’s castle from dusty to magnificent in the famous ballroom scene will leave all wishing for such beauty within their own lives.
The complexity of the interactions between real and make believe alone should silence all doubts of this film. Actors of the animated antiques had to pre record all of their lines to give the live action actors voices to respond to, after which all the lines had to be recorded once again to include their reactions to the live acting. Models of many of the houseware items had to be made to give an approximate feel of the set. Even the wardrobe was made full scale to be able to film her communicating with Belle.
The acting, set, and singing, along with many other unnamed characteristics, came together to make the film of the year, one that people of all backgrounds should enjoy.