I admit it: I am a Disney movie nerd. So it’s no surprise that I saw Beauty and the Beast yesterday. You know, that live action film with Emma Watson that came out about a month ago.
I must say I am happy they didn’t follow the 1991 version exactly. For example, the library scene. In the live action it was presented to Belle by the beast as a half joke/half serious offer, which made it all the more adorable. In the cartoon version, it was presented after the snowball fight scene as a “I’ve been preparing this for you so here you go!”. Keeping the songs from the original movie like “Be My Guest” is a nice nostalgic touch.
Another plus: The live action closed loops that the cartoon left out. Was the Beast always a douchebag? I am not saying. Where did Belle’s mother go? Spoiler: she was not a French Revolutionary fighting for her country, unfortunately. What was the time period? Considering Gaston was “in the war” and the Eiffel Tower was not built yet and the mention of Champs Elysées being “too touristy” placed the time period post-1815. These little details provided more depth for each character, making much more sense on how they fall in love or dislike each other.
The one minor issue I hold with the live action is the passage of time. Is it me or did all this happen in three days? I’m pretty sure the 90s version expanded the timeframe. I know it’s supposed to be classic love story but come on. It’s rare to acquire a “fear then witty banter then pure romance” relationship in three days.
I love the chemistry the actors have with each other. Le Fou, played by Josh Gad of Frozen (Olaf!) was hilarious (and closet gay? Spoiler!). I would see it again and recommend the film. And if you a nostalgic cinema person, watch the movie at a classic theater without the dine and fancy seats. I saw it at Gateway Regal 16, which is an old school cinema with a classic concession stand that sells overpriced popcorn and candy, surprisingly good arcade games according to my friend John who ventured with me to see this film, and good ol non-reclining non-leather seats. It adds a whole ‘nother level of magic.