Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast (2017) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Bill Condon. Cast: Emma WatsonDan StevensLuke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson

To the risk of repeating myself (I’m sure I must have already said something like this when writing about the “Lion King” remake) I will ask the eternal (and rhetorical) question: Why? Of course the answer is money.

There was absolutely no reason to remake the classic Disney masterpiece, especially only point of this seems to be to hit all the nostalgic notes and actually bring very little new to the table. The same songs, the same soundtrack, the same beats to the story (even the prince beyond the beast is just as disappointing as in the original). The only real difference is in its pacing: somehow the film seems to have gained about extra 45 minutes of fat… Time which wasn’t really needed of course. In fact the more time is added and the more real they try to make it the less magical it seems to become and crucially the more unbelievable the love story appears to be.

Yes, of course, it does look amazing and the production designers behind the scene have done an incredible job at recreating the sets from the animated version (as well as some pretty good CGI work): the castle and all its magical objects are stunning, the village is beautiful, the costumes are Oscar-worthy,but however kind one tries to be towards this film, there’s no hiding away from the fact that it will ALWAYS live it the shadows of it predecessor.

There are some tiny scene extensions and minor tweaks here and there but clearly not enough to justify a whole new re-telling.Don’t take me wrong, it is extremely watchable and there is a certain pleasure in discovering how the various beats to the story were translated into live action, but it’s mainly just curiosity which pushes you through.

There’s a good solid cast behind it too, from Kevin Kline (I miss that guy… whatever happened to him?), Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen… You can hardly go wrong with those names. But while Luke Evans is perfect as the evil Gaston I’m afraid I find Emma Watson a bit too vanilla for my taste… But hey, maybe that’s exactly what Disney was looking for: some vanilla. She can sing all right though.

I just don’t think any child in the future will ask their parents to watch this version again instead of the animated one. With so many stories to tell, this feels a bit of a waste of talent.

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