Movie Review: Beauty And The Beast

I missed the juggernaut that was Disney’s reboot of Beauty and the Beast earlier this year. There are many reasons why we stopped going to movie theatres, but the chief one was that it was a thing my family did together. And without dad, it feels weird.

Having said that though, dad would have HATED this movie. Mainly because he was a pain that didn’t like animated features, fantasy movies, historical ones, and a multitude of other equally specific movies. His reasons were ridiculous, and I don’t even remember what they were as a result. But yes, I would have missed the theatre-version of this movie either way, and well, I’m rather grateful for that overall.

Story: I don’t think I really need to outline the story for Beauty and the Beast. The departures from the original Disney animation are scarce, and those appear to have been done to make the movie acceptable in a new century. [I know it isn’t that far off; I’m being dramatic.]

Review: Somehow, I altogether missed the fact that this movie is a MUSICAL! Now, lest anyone think I am an abomination, I am not all that keen on music. I like music, but find that the music blurs out words for me. So when I have to follow an entire movie in song and verse, I lose out on plot points and in-jokes. Not that I always catch them, but still I feel at a disadvantage because I tune out music.

Having said that, it is a beautiful movie, and the art direction is exquisite. I confess to being bored in bits, but that the fault of the songs [and my reaction to them] rather than the movie itself. I did find that there were some superfluous elements, which I will get to shortly.

Story: There are few changes to the previous movie, as I said before. In this case though, Belle is an only child of a doting father. She is portrayed as adventurous, and chafing at the monotony of provincial village life. The other major departure was the attempt to address the issue of Stockholm syndrome. Not quite successful as attempts go, but commendable effort nevertheless. There is the new element of an evil admirer, who is vain to a fault and delights in the misery of others. But then again, this is a children’s movie, so I imagine subtlety isn’t a criterion.

Characters: Mostly caricatured and one-dimensional. Shockingly for a Hollywood movie, the most fleshed-out character is that of Belle. She comes across as strong, intelligent, and capable. She makes her own decisions, and has tremendous courage. I loved her. Of the others, I liked Lumière most. Mainly because Ewan McGregor, but there you go.

Acting: Over the top performances, except for Emma Watson, who is a delight.

What I liked: Art direction, Emma Watson, a wonderful horse, and exquisite sets.

What I disliked: It was boring for me, but like I said before, this is probably more a reflection on me rather than the movie. Also wasn’t keen on it being a musical.

Rating: ✩✩

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