Movies, Reviews

Beauty and the Beast (2017) Movie Review

mv5bmtuwnjuxmtm4nv5bml5banbnxkftztgwodexmdqzmti-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_Title: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

DirectorBill Condon

Lead Actors: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans

Genre:  MusicalFamily, Fantasy

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

From IMDb:

Disney’s animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.

I don’t know if it’s just me but I was disappointed by this movie, especially after all that hype (I really should have known better though but I was just too full of hope especially because EMMA WATSON). It just screamed flat and awkward right off the bat I was actually taken aback. I spent half of the movie fighting a yawn and failing more times than I care to admit. I had to actually ask myself: “This IS Disney…right?”

The audience are treated to a pretty lavish introduction, showing the arrogant prince hosting a grand party. But I was put off by the costume and other props. I guess they were trying to emulate the fashion in the 1700’s with the atrocious makeup and the utterly fake wigs but still, it made for a poor picture in a supposedly large-scale production. I mean..come on! This is Disney! Where’s the aesthetics?

And then there’s the acting. I don’t claim to be a professional actor but I could tell that the actors just lacked the necessary emotion needed to bring their characters to life. During the song “Belle (Little Town)” I just felt like there were a lot of blank staring by the actors and some really awkward pauses and it just felt really flat overall. I think they were trying to copy the original animated version, shots and all, but it just didn’t turn out well. There are shots best left in animation. The director definitely should have a more discerning eye on that matter.

But what disappointed me most was Emma Watson as Belle. Don’t get me wrong. She’s beautiful and all that, not to mention my idol, but her version of Belle just doesn’t work for me. Her acting was so lacking here I just couldn’t believe it was her. It made me question: was this really her level of acting all along? Or was she just out of practice? Or maybe this was what the director asked from her? I really don’t know, but I expected more from her.

Even when she was singing, awkward just rolls off her in huge waves I could barely stand it. Maybe it’s because her voice was so heavily auto-tuned to match the voice of Belle from the animated movie? I dunno, it just didn’t feel right. I don’t feel her passion for a life beyond that little provincial town.

She was cold and aloof throughout the movie too, it was exasperating. Even when she was acting as a worried daughter or angry at her imprisonment, her aloofness just shines through. Sure, Belle is a strong and independent woman but that doesn’t necessarily translate to heartless right? In the Original Animated movie, Belle wasn’t really emotionless but she still came off strong, educated and independent to me.

One of the scenes that showed Emma’s stilted acting was during the scene where Belle was found by the Beast snooping around his room. She was supposed to be frightened by the Beast but in this version she didn’t even look or sound frightened at all despite her claims.

Her expression looked more akin to “I’m so done with this emo shiz” than “HALP HE GONNA EAT ME!”

I couldn’t even tell that she was already in love with the beast even after she sang all about it. If she didn’t come back for the Beast at all after he released her, I wouldn’t have been surprised. That’s the signal her body language was sending to me in the movie. XD

As for the CGI, I wasn’t very impressed in that area as well. It’s just so fake and just wasn’t what I’m used to when it comes to Disney movies. Look at what they did to Mrs. Potts!

mrs potts 1991 vs 2017

The original animated design had such character while the movie one looked like a regular pot slapped on with a face. Mrs. Potts ended up looking really cheap and fake in this version (despite the ornate design). Why did they do that? It just screamed “lazy” to me. Don’t they have enough budget for a better CGI? *sigh*

I am not entirely unappreciative though.

I did enjoy some aspects of the movie. I liked the little additions they added as well as some of the tweaks they made. I thought those tweaks saved the movie from being entirely flat and boring.

And then there’s Gaston and LeFou. I can say with utmost certainty that they are the best part of this movie. I loved the fact that their characters were given more depth than in the original animated version. In the original, they were flat and nonsensical villains but here, they were more complex. More human.

I really like how they explained Gaston’s personality. In this version, he was a war veteran with considerable rank who I think though I might be wrong because I’m not a psychologist suffers from War Neurosis. And LeFou, unlike in the original movie, was more conscientious and less like a blind follower. He knows that Gaston is suffering from a mental disorder (as shown in that one scene) and tries his best to help though he was fairly afraid of him as well. He might also be in love with Gaston too (he totally is) which would explain his adulation for him despite his obvious…personality defects.

I definitely liked this LeFou better than the original 😀

Additionally, I also liked how they tried to incorporate the Black Plague into the story and gave Belle and Beast their own backstories. In the original animated movie, they never explained why Beast was such an ass at first and it always prevented me from liking him. But here, they added his fairly tragic backstory that allowed me to sympathize with him and wish for his victory over the enchantment. XD

So all in all, I found the movie to be rather bland. The acting and CGI (never mind the props) could have been better. The movie direction definitely needs improvement because I was just bored half the time. I didn’t feel the passion (I am all for the passion!) and the special effects weren’t even particularly mesmerizing.

I definitely did not feel this movie was worth watching in the big screen.

My rating: 6/10

Favorite character: Lefou

Favorite quote: “How would you feel about growing a beard?” – Belle XD


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