The remake of Beauty & The Beast could have been a disaster. After all, the high regard people have for the original tale and its characters make for a tough crowd to please but for the most part Director Bill Condon manages to distil any animosity by producing a film that stays almost to the same beat and script as the original.
This “tale as old as time” is identical to the animation but in case you haven’t watched it, we follow the story of Belle, a big fish in a small pond who longs for a life away from her simple routine life in her village. When her Father goes missing and its later revealed a monstrous Beast has him locked up in his castle, its up to Belle to try and save her Father by taking his place as prisoner. Whilst the live action remake doesn’t deviate from the original animated film, there are some interesting shots of the Beast’s previous life as a Prince which are a nice touch and bring some colour into his life.
Speaking of colour, the film has a great colour palette from start to finish. Although not as bright as the animation, the colours work well here and the slightly dulled tones work well in keeping the story grounded and realistic. The questionable design of the Beast and the talking items in the house were the focus of scrutiny before the film started and although it took me a while to warm to the new design, they do work although I would have liked the Beast to be a bit more beasty.
My biggest concern going into this though was Emma Watson as Belle. A tough role to nail for sure, and it easily could have been a disaster but she does a pretty good job. Although there are times where I felt her performance could have used a bit more charismatic charm, its a minor gripe. Speaking of charisma though, the real standout though is Luke Evans as Gaston. An amazing scene-stealing performance, he manages to hug the limelight with every scene as the dastardly arrogant man trying to wed Belle.
Whilst it isn’t as magical as the animation, the live remake does a great job of dazzling with all the favourite songs. Whether it be the colourful ‘Belle’, the scene stealing ‘Gaston’ or the iconic ‘ Beauty & The Beast’ they’re all here in their glory complete with almost the same camera angles and costumes.
More beauty than beast, this remake does a great job in bringing the story to the big screen whilst sticking closely to the source material, even if it never quite feels as magical as the original. Its a tale as old as time though and this love story is one that should stick with you for years to come, even if its the animation you remember more fondly by the end.
Verdict - 8/10