Once upon a time, there was a village girl named Belle, who dreamed of having more than just a provincial life. And the rest, I bet you know already!
Having seen the 1991 animated movie a number of times, I honestly had mixed feelings when they announced the plans for the now-released live-action movie, but I was still filled with excitement albeit with reservations knowing how live-action versions turn out.
The story definitely has some differences from the original (I found a nice list of differences here), and I think a number of them added more layers to what we have already seen from the animated movie. Some of them come in the form of new songs (I personally liked the Beast’s Evermore) and side stories which surprisingly were cohesive with the story. Animation was spot on, production value is high, though the green screen backdrops were quite obvious for me. Nonetheless, the visuals were satisfying.
Also satisfying for me were the almost-realistic portrayal of the characters (shout out to Luke Evans as Gaston for making him not too caricature-ish for a villain) and the voice actors (who tempered the seemingly creepy looks of the castle antiques through their adorable voices). Emma Watson is quite a wildcard but sufficient to the core as Belle, and thank modern technology for Beast. Haha!
A significant part of the success of BatB are the songs, which were nicely done in this version. Say what you will about the singing voice of the actors (particularly Emma’s), but the charm of the songs are still there, which meant the songs are close to evergreen status (if not). Also, it just occurred to me during the film that Something There is my second favorite song off BatB, just next to the titular track.
When the movie was released, I had doubts on whether I would like the movie. Watching it with less expectations helped – I didn’t think I would be affected by the movie, but I was in some way. My use of “satisfying” in my comments about the movie is relative – people might like it a bit much, or not so much. But it’s the magic of Disney at work if the movie gets to you on a deeper level.
And with that said, we all still live happily every after!
P.S. I also liked the end-credits with How Does A Moment Last Forever in the background. But I need the orchestral version of the titular track!
Rating: 8 mushroom cans/10 bowls
OST on Spotify: