You may think that if you have seen Beauty and the Beast once, you have no need to see it again…not true. I saw the 1991 film with my nieces who were very young in age and thought I couldn’t enjoy it more until I took them to see the stage play when it came to Chicago in the 1990’s and saw the wonder on their faces as the animated story was brought to life. Now, some 20 odd years later, seeing the story on the big screen in its new form is even more enjoyable.
The story is the same with some small changes and additions. We finally get a good look as to why and how the Prince was turned into the beast, the people of court objects, and the significance of the rose.
Under Bill Condon’s direction and screenplay by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos the story seems to be a little darker than usual but still intriguing and full of fantasy.
Emma Watson’s Belle is a young, independent, beautiful young lady who knows her own mind. She isn’t the type that we may be accustomed to, all airy, naïve, and butterflies. The Villagers love her, especially Gaston (Luke Evans); the local, handsome, conceited huntsman who has decided that Belle was going to be his bride.
Belle’s Papa Maurice (Kevin Kline), is a very skilled clock maker. He has been hiding a dark secret about Belle’s mother from her but that does not hinder the closeness and love they share.
Heading to market, wolves chase Maurice to an old castle where he is captured by the Beast. Belle goes looking for her father and takes his place as the Beast’s prisoner.
The story becomes dark again when Gaston does some very underhanded things to get Belle to marry him and to kill the beast.
All of the actors are wonderful in their parts. Emma Watson has a beautiful voice and gives us a lovable Belle. Dan Stevens is exciting to watch. He freely portrays emotion and humor with such ease that you truly stop seeing the Beast and begin feeling for the man trapped within.
The cinematography, makeup, and costumes are fabulous and award nomination worthy. The energy and voices of all the characters are fabulous.
If you are an adult and would like to enjoy the experience of this classic Disney story in its new form please do not feel that you must have a child at your side to do so. Beauty and the Beast is a film that the grown up child will immerse themselves in as much as the seven or eight year old. Teenagers will even put down their cell phones to swoon over Belle and the Prince.
SPEND the money and see Beauty and the Beast in the theaters.
Until next time, keep your EYE to the sky!
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