Taking on a classic is always a daunting task & one that’s more often than not it ends in disappointment. However there was something different about the remake of Beauty and The Beast.
There’s a totally different air and excitement for this nostalgic classic to be reinvented with a modern day of romance and top notch acting. 26 years ago the original was the first film ever nominated for a best picture award, so director Bill Condon certainly had his work cut out.
His choice in casting was sublime. Casting Emma Watson as Belle was undoubtedly the best decision he could make. In recent years Emma Watson has become a character of strength, and an icon to younger girls, a true idol that you would want to be posted on your daughters bedroom wall.
Whilst musicals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, it’s even hard for the critics to tear apart without being enthralled in the iconic Disney magic. The 2017 remake proved that the devil is in the detail.
The set designers transport you into a dark Gothic phantasmically haunting fantasy filled with decorum and splendour that will leave women of all ages desperate for that sumptuous dream of being in Belle’s shoes.
Watson adds a beautifully poignant element to her character, her distinct lack of gait is wonderfully reflective of the overawed emotions of someone that doesn’t harness the confidence she should. This added layer to the character takes us one step away from the Disney princess ideal, and closer to the modernity of femininity. She’s more than just the girl next door. She’s real. And no one can deny she can sing and dance. For me, she was on par with Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia.
The remake is 45 minutes longer than the original, allowing for the questions that remained unanswered for 26 years to be answered. This gives extra room for the beasts character to enthral us even more.
Yet the moral of the story remains the same. It’s a tale of discovering inner beauty, despite how tempted you are to withhold sympathy for the beast through all of Dan Stevens digitally applied fur. Dan wasn’t the only one hiding behind a mask.
Bill Condon’s attention to detail set’s the standard for directors. His decision to cast Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson to voice the mantel clock and tea pot were ingenious. Of course Ewan McGregor’s performance as Lumière can’t go unmentioned. The Mise en Scene of the feature was inexplicably put together, you’re enthralled in the chaos of the bedazzlement as you belt out Be Our Guest as you watch the show stopping kaleidoscope of entertainment.
To bring the tale into modernity LeFou has been reinvented as a perterbingly camp character. The first overtly gay character in Disney has made some waves absconding the stereotype, and creating award winning scenes in the ballroom-dance finale. While Gatson’s sexuality remains a lively debating point amongst critics.
Edited by Peter Spann
Peter Spann is a business coach, writer, presenter and investor.
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