Flash Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast
WHEN I ask why they are attracted to that certain feature of the individual, the answer is never the same. It is perplexing to me how people acquire a particular attraction to a person’s height, hair color or body type. Friends of mine to this day test me because they cannot believe I do not pay attention to the surface details of an individual. They will point at someone and ask me if I would be attracted to that person. Each time I have to tell them I do not know until I have had a couple of conversations with that particular individual. Maybe from my studies in psychology I attempt to rationalize a person’s tastes in potential dates. In some circles of thought one could say one of the reasons a person is attracted to redheads is because they are less available, rarer if you will. This person wants to stand out from the pack. Someone may be attracted to facial hair because it represents a father figure, an authoritarian. There are so many different interpretations, yet they still do not answer my fundamental thought: why should it make a difference what a person looks like? You can have what looks like the most perfect apple in your hand, but it still may be rotten underneath the skin. TAKING this a step further, I feel the same way about a person’s ethnicity. The only thing a person’s ethnic makeup tells me is what region of the world their ancestors were born. After taking in the cultural differences, I do not find anything different between people of different races. Each group produces geniuses, thieves, liars, bigoted and loving people. I find this whole discrimination thing puzzling and troubling. People are quick to make judgments about individuals solely based on skin color; I just do not get it. From what I have said you may begin to suspect, this fairy tale is one my favorite stories from childhood. SIMPLY by plucking a single rose off a bush Maurice, played by Kevin Kline (Cry Freedom, My Old Lady), was imprisoned by a monstrous beast, played by Dan Stevens (The Guest, Downton Abbey-TV). If it was not for his daughter Belle, played by Emma Watson (The Bling Ring, Harry Potter franchise); Maurice would have never survived the ordeal. This live action, fantasy musical was based on the animated film version of this story done in the 1990s. With Luke Evans (Dracula Untold, The Raven) as Gaston and Josh Gad (The Wedding Ringer, Jobs) as LeFou, the cast members not associated with singing surprised me with their vocal abilities. Emma took her character and made it a somewhat more modern and determined figure. I do not know if it was because of this or not, but I found her interactions with the Beast emotionally too fast. She never had a sense of revulsion upon meeting the Beast; in other words there was a lack of tension between the two. The same argument could be made with other portions of the film; the story was quickly pushed from one action scene to another I felt. At least the creativity and imagination that went into the sets and individual pieces were thoroughly entertaining. Along with the wonderful musical score and beautiful story, there are more things to like about this film than not. Maybe just do not look too deep under the surface to find the cracks.
Posted on March 20, 2017, in Fantasy/Sci-Fi and tagged 3 stars, dan stevens, emma thompson, emma watson, family, fantasy, josh gad, kevin kline, luke evans, musical. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.
Yes! I was trying to figure out what it was and you nailed it. Tension. Their talent and vocals were impressive, but yes, the scenes between the beast and Belle lacked tension. At first I was disappointed that she was not as charismatic as the animated character, but in truth, she was more believable as the odd girl she’s supposed to be. My husband refers to these characters as moody, sultry teens. I was wondering how they were able to evoke all that tension in the animated feature and failed to do so in this. The sets were truly impressive and at the end, I was disappointed they didn’t show Dan Stevens more as the prince. I just loved him in Downton Abbey and hated his death. It just would have been nice for the general public to get to know this amazing actor. I gather this is a Brit film? I noticed most of the characters were Brit. Anyway. I still enjoyed it and loved hearing the musical talents all of them displayed.
It is under the Disney studios but it was filmed in England; the director is an American. I am in total agreement with you concerning Dan Stevens; there needed to be more screen time with him to show how selfish he really was to all around. Thank you for the comments.
I am very fond of Belle as portrayed in the 1991 animated Disney classic. To be honest, I have little interest in this live action version. I don’t care for the look of the Beast, and Emma Watson doesn’t work for me either. It’s interesting that you bring up the lack of tension in this new version. I’m sure, were I to see the film, that I would also be annoyed by this blaring omission.
If you enjoy the story may I suggest the French version of Beauty and the Beast, directed by Jean Cocteau. It is amazing. Thank you for the comments.
I actually have The Criterion Collection DVD of Jean Cocteau’s film. I have an M.A. in French Literature, and so have purchased a number of French films over the years, many of which are classics.
Awesome, then you know what I am talking about. lol
I had already read a negative review about this movie being over produced. I went to see it and even with that in the back of my mind, I was captivated by the music and set design. The story is a touching one, but I agree with all of your points. I think the villain was more developed than the beast and there just wasn’t enough tension between the main characters to make it feel believable. Still, it was very enjoyable. Your review really said it well. 🙂
Thank you Judy. I wish it had been a spectacular movie watching experience, but you and I experienced it the same way.
Thank you for such a beautiful review. Do you review Indian movies as well?
Absolutely. One of my favorites was The Lunchbox; did you see it by chance? My DVD queue has over 300 films in line to be delivered to me, so I always get a surprise in the mail.
If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate it very much. Thank you for the comments. Namaste
It’s going to be an unusual movie
Let me know if you see it. Thank you for the comment.
Most horrible.i fear from dis type’s movie.