Is ‘Beauty And The Beast’ a beautiful blockbuster or a beast of a movie?
The latest of Disney’s live-action adaptions of animated classics, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ follows young Belle (Emma Watson) as she struggles to fit what she’s expected to be in her small village home. But, when her father (Kevin Kline) is kidnapped and held prisoner by a mysterious beast (Dan Stevens) in his castle, Belle’s world is turned upside down as she selflessly sacrifices her livelihood to the beast and sets her father free in return for her imprisonment. But, as she stays in the castle longer, her relationship with her captor soon changes…
One thing that was very adamant from the beginning from the film is that Emma Watson is not a brilliant singer. Unlike her similarly named counterpart, Emma Stone, in ‘La La Land’ (my review of which can be read here), Watson required some quite obvious auto-tune. This retracted from some of the spectacular musical numbers, especially as it was made obvious as the townsfolk extras clearly had a musical theatre background, but the effect of the numbers was still quite powerful.
And the musical numbers really were quite spectacular. I’ve always had a respect for these spectacular performances and was a massive fan of those in the aforementioned ‘La La Land‘s. ‘Beauty and the Beast’s musical moments were a bit less impressive, I felt, as the entire film relied heavily on CGI. However, in one of the numbers, there were some live effects and you could feel a sense of realism that isn’t in some of the other scenes. This leads more onto saying that the only real “live-action” for a lot of this film is Emma Watson, surrounded by a green-screen set and a motion capture monster. With this in mind, I felt that she gave a very convincing and emotional performance.
One thing I did enjoy about this film was the plot. Unlike previous Disney live-action adaptions such as ‘The Jungle Book’, the story of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was lifted directly from the script of the original 1991 and I liked this. I felt ‘The Jungle Book’s plot was rather dark for what it was and some of the scenes were a bit unnecessary, however ‘Beauty and the Beast’ had none of this. Though the writers managed to almost double the run-time from the original animation, I enjoyed the fact that this adaption was a like-for-liekness to the original.
Overall, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ has some strong musical numbers and a good plot. However, an over-reliance on CGI and some questionable singing means that it earns from me seven-out-of-ten.
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