By KATHERINE NGUYEN
Let me set the scene for you: imagine seven year old Katherine sitting in front of her janky TV screen, waiting for her VCR version of Beauty and the Beast to load. It pops up to the middle of the movie, where she last played it, so she has to take it out and put it in her VCR rewinder and wait for that to finish before she can actually get to watching the movie.
Now flash forward ten years to when seventeen year old Katherine is able to watch the live-action remake of this cherished childhood movie in the theater. It’s absolutely amazing and spoiler alert (for this article review and for the movie): she loves it.
So we’ve all heard about this 2017 movie remake, whether it be from your own excited research or through the grapevine. From having huge stars such as Emma Watson, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson to already having an established fan base, it isn’t a surprise that this film garnered as much love as it did.
One of the biggest rules of watching a re-release is to never compare it to the original, but that’s quite difficult in this situation. While the feature stayed true to the plot and retained the magic of the characters, there were quite a few differences. The remake had a much darker ambiance while taking a more logical, modern perspective. Belle’s outfits did not capture the same essence as the animated version, but it did match Watson’s style quite nicely.
Standing on its own, I definitely believe that this movie is worthy of praise. Its cinematography, musicality, and acting stand tall and bright. There is no doubt that to me, the original 1991 film will always prevail due to its integral role in my childhood. But for this day and age, the remake unquestionably does it justice.
Though the main actors (Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Evans who played Belle, the Beast/Prince and Gaston respectively) portrayed their characters spectacularly, for me, the spotlight was truly stolen by Kevin Kline and Josh Gad (playing Maurice and LeFou respectively). Kline’s ability to transform from a sweet, harmless old man to a desperate, demanding, nearly crazy father was tremendous. In contrast, Gad retained the same general characterization throughout the movie in an amazing manner; as the comic relief, his character’s quirks and lines did not fail to make me laugh.
The last thing I have to bring up is the remarkable soundtrack (I’m actually listening to it as I write this). Many classic songs such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Be Our Guest” and “Belle” were brought to life by Thompson and Watson, and new songs such as “Evermore” and “How Does A Moment Last Forever” by Stevens and Kline were added. The instrumental tracks established the tone of the movie and truly created a greater watching experience.
“I loved how the background music matched perfectly with each scene,” Yukino Fukase (Sr.) said. “Overall, the movie was so beautiful. There were so many scenes that got me emotional.”
Beauty and the Beast (2017) holds a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. By garnering $751.2 million on a $160 million budget, it is currently the highest-grossing film of 2017.
If you want my two cents, go watch it. Go relive your childhood while watching great acting and listening to amazing music, and try really hard not to cry (because I actually did!).