The original Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney’s most beloved and acclaimed classics – it was the first animated film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar – so it’s no surprise that Bill Condon’s live-action remake has been one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. Luckily, I can certainly say that it was worth the wait: from the moment the music started to play, the room fell silent as the magic was about to begin.
It all begins with a scene showing the Prince (played by Dan Stevens, known most for his time in Downton Abbey) before he is hit with the spell that turns him into the Beast. This is something you do not see in the 1991 original – there have been a few scenes added to the already amazing ones – which just makes the story so much better. These new scenes throughout the film give you a better understanding of Belle and the Beast as individuals.
We then move on to the village scene where you first see Belle, very well played by Emma Watson: most famous, of course, for her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter films (just in case you didn’t know). I feel that the casting of Watson for this role was a really good choice as she can sing and dance beautifully, as well as being an incredible actress. During the scenes in the village you meet Gaston, played by Luke Evans, who comes across as more arrogant and self-centred than he was in the animated version.
As the film goes on, we see Belle’s father Maurice (Kevin Kline) being captured by the Beast, and Belle going to save him. It follows on with the story of Belle growing closer to the Beast and realising that he isn’t as bad as she initially thought, culminating in an intense fight between Gaston and the Beast. If you have seen the animation before then you know how it ends, but if you haven’t then I am not going to ruin it for you.
The ability to feel the emotions and understand the humour throughout the film is so much easier with it being live-action, as the way things are said and done are more immediately noticeable. This film will take you on an emotional rollercoaster, where you feel so happy you could almost cry, all the way through to the intense scenes where you want to hide under your coat and peer over the top. This remake will take you back to your childhood and has given a whole new meaning to the Beauty and the Beast story. I would highly recommend it to everyone and if I had the chance I would go back and see it again and again.