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Sales as old as time: Beauty and the Beast Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast won the first spot in the box office for the first two weeks after its release.

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Beauty and the Beast won the first spot in the box office for the first two weeks after its release.

Subaita Rahman, Staff Writer

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When I was a kid, Belle was never on my list of top Disney princesses, but the attention surrounding the upcoming remake (along with my evident bias for Emma Watson) compelled me to buy a ticket for “Beauty and the Beast.” Although I was still unsure about the necessity of the movie, as I found the original to be perfect as is, I entered with high expectations. I was pleased to find that the new movie, which remains faithful to the original story-line and conveys the same sense of wonder and enchantment, still provides a fresh outlook on the classic, showcasing interesting CGI effects, mildly dark  themes, and Disney’s controversial first openly gay character.

In truth there are very few things to spoil, since the movie preserves the basics of the plot. Nonetheless, the remake still reveals more of Belle’s background and childhood, as well as her new interest in inventing, identical to her father’s, which was never showed in the original. The re-imagined song sequences were entertaining and well-produced, but I quickly grew irritated with the movie’s tendency to overdo the production. The ornate glamour distracts from the main focus of the scenes – trampling on the concept of less-is-more.

I was most curious about how the animation of the living furniture would be executed and, most importantly, how the Beast would come to life onscreen. I was pleased to see that the Beast, aside from his corny deep voice, was very well produced – large and imposing with realistic fur and horns, but still retaining human qualities, such as his expressive eyes. I was overall impressed with the dynamic between the characters; this time around I appreciated the Beast and Belle’s budding romance much more, and found it easier to pick up the dubious relationship between Gaston and LeFou.

My favorite aspect of this adaptation was how much scarier it was. Framed by the distinctly darker lighting, Gaston’s evil nature and battle with the Beast was just as heart-pounding as the original. The effects of the curse and the fate of the palace servants if the spell was not reversed was also showcased in a much more serious manner. The remake briefly showed the slow, chilling transformation of Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth. These changes in the mood and tone did wonders to the movie’s effectiveness and made it significantly less light-hearted and airy than the original.

I still don’t understand the outrage that fueled the cancelled showings in Malaysia and even Alabama over LeFou’s homosexuality. Though the live action version makes his infatuation with Gaston more obvious, the only gay scene I noticed lasted less than two seconds, hardly enough to make a fuss over. Along with being irked by the exaggerated production, I felt as if the effort to make everything look lifelike, especially with Lumiere and Cogsworth, took away from their normally expressive faces which were a huge contributor to their character and charm from before. In certain aspects of the movie, less is more definitely more, and I would not have minded if they sacrificed some aspects of their production to keep some of the charm of the original.

Make no mistake, the “Beauty and the Beast” remake is extremely extra. There is enough gold glitter and face powder to effectively sponsor a drag queen show, and you might go cross-eyed while trying to take in everything at once and still recognize all the characters. However, if you’re looking for a delightful take on a classic movie, take it from us and be our guest.

Rating: 4/5

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The student-created online news source for Irvington High School | Fremont, CA
Sales as old as time: Beauty and the Beast Movie Review