I’ll try to avoid spoilers but I do want to discuss the movie somewhat so be forewarned.
Ever since I heard that Emma Watson would be playing Belle in a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, I knew that I had to see this movie, but March 2017 seemed so far away that I doubted I would ever get to but before I knew it, I was at FatCats with my friends and watching the trailers for the upcoming movies, waiting in anticipation.
Belle has always had a special place in my heart. I loved- and still love- to read and she wore blue and she had brown hair and brown eyes. I thought I was the real life Belle. My sister could dress up as nearly any Disney princess she wanted due to her blonde hair and while I loved Belle I was an ardent admirer of Aurora but despite the pink gown, I didn’t feel like I truly fit into the image of the golden curly haired princess. I keep coming back to Belle. My prom dress my senior of high school was long and gold and my friends told me “You look like Belle!” I wore it again for Halloween that year and my mom took pictures of me sitting in my Belle-esque gown next to a stack of books. For the premiere of this movie, I even wore my Shakespeare sweatshirt with the ‘To Be or Not To Be’ soliloquy and under that because it’s been getting hot in Rexburg was my Great Gatsby t-shirt because I felt like that was something Belle would do. As I walked with my roommates Juliana and Emily to the theater, I started skipping. I felt like a kid again. It was so nice to let myself be whole-heartedly enthusiastic about something.
Though Emma Watson has certainly given me a run for my money regarding embodying Belle, my expectations were high due to the stellar cast, the cinematography of the trailers I had seen and the beautiful singing in the sneak peeks. But I was in no way prepared for the experience I was going to have in the theater. From the moment the theater lights dimmed and the Disney logo appeared on the screen, I got chills that recurred throughout the entire movie and at the very end, the audience broke into wild applause. I’ve already made plans to go see it again with my sister the weekend after next.
First off, the songs from the original movie were just as good if not better, but I’m hesitant to fully agree with that statement due my childhood attachment to the cartoon version. For the most part, the new songs didn’t seem to stick to me as much, perhaps because I didn’t spend my whole life listening to them, with the exception of ‘Evermore’, which is a song that Beast sings as Belle leaves to go help her father, which gave a new perspective of the magnitude of the Beast’s feelings for Belle. After I got home from the movie I called my friend Brenna, who saw the movie the day before, and we gushed about the movie for a good hour or so, particularly about this song, which also led to gushing about Dan Stevens and the voice that charmed us. Yet another unattainable yet seemingly perfect British actor to add to the list.
The whole movie served to expand on the characters of the story and explained a lot of plot holes that have been brought up about the original movie. For instance, I couldn’t help but wonder who was running the land while the prince was off being angsty in his castle but that is somewhat covered in the film and I’m satisfied enough to toss that question out. The additional time added to the movie was necessary for the dynamics of the characters and for the audience to establish emotional connections with Belle and Beast and even all the servants in the castle like Lumiere and Mrs. Potts. Of course for most of us the emotional connection is already there but in a way, it’s like seeing the characters for the first time.
Get ready to learn about Belle’s mom, Beast’s parents, the castle trinkets, and even the Enchantress! If you’re skeptical, go see it! If you hated the original, give this a try and go see it! If you disagree with me or want to argue with me, go see it and gather your argument and we can chat later, but I think you’ll find that this movie may be one of the best ones released in a good while.