Starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens with direction by Bill Condon,Beauty and the Beast is a live-action Disney remake of the dark fantasy musical animation of the 1990’s which itself was an interpretation of the classic fairy-tale…
Set in France,the film centres around the story of a vain prince that is put under a spell and turned into a beast by an enchantress [can we not call them a witch anymore?] after he refuses her plea for shelter during a Winter storm.The spell can only be broken if someone falls in love with him as he is before the last petal falls off of the red rose kept in a glass container.Will he find true love or will he and his friends [also cursed] be doomed forever?
The film is an fine remake of the Disney animation,Emma Watson is excellently cast as Belle the all-singing,all-dancing headstrong girl who spends most of the first part of the film evading the charms of the narcissistic Gaston played to the hilt by Luke Evans who throws everything into his part like a glorious pantomime villain and ultimately steals the show from under the noses of everyone else.He is also backed up by Josh Gad as LeFou,a bumbling camp sidekick who has a bit of a man-crush on Gaston and isn’t afraid to show it.There is however,nothing sexual between them,so ignore all the negativity about that role by bigoted people who haven’t seen the film.
The rest of the cast is a fine ensemble of a mainly British actors and actresses,straight out of the phonebook,Emma Thompson,Ewan McGregor [dodgy French accent] and Sir Ian McKellen playing a talking clock.It all plays out nicely amongst a fine backdrop of clever CGI and annoying singalongaDisney,which,as you may know,is not high on my list of enjoyment,not a fan of people bursting into song as soon as they see a loaf of bread..
Belle and the Beast do show good chemistry on screen and the film itself is a thoroughly enjoyable 2 hours that will keep everyone happy for the duration.
As far as the Disney live-action remakes go,this is on a par with the Kenneth Brannagh version of Cinderella but not quite as good as last years The Jungle Book.
An enchanting addition to the franchise and something to keep the family entertained..
Joxer Film Rating