Beauty and the Beast Live Action Thoughts (spoilers!)
So it's late and I'm tired, so these will be my quick thoughts after seeing the movie tonight. Let me just say that this movie, in my opinion, is everything BatB should have been. I'll put a more complete review up tomorrow, but most importantly, I can't believe how good the singing and acting was. Absolutely spot on. I loved all the interpretations of the characters and I while I wasn't a fan of every new song they added, they served their purposes well. Especially at the end of the film, the changes they made astounded me.
So far my two biggest problems were that Be Our Guest was waaaaaay over the top, and that they didn't include the final duet between Belle and Beast from the musical when it was clear that they had the opportunity. Ah well.
More to come tomorrow!
PinPics name: Tokaji
I'm also super tired and will probably post something more detailed later possibly. Great movie. Highly recommend.
I like the movie overall. It was very well done.
Was it just me or did Emma Watson's voice sound slightly auto tuned or computerized?
I agree with you Tokaji "Be Our Guest" was overdone. Absolutely.
I liked some of the new things they added and the graphics were great.
I really wish the transformation scene at the end was closer to the movie. Such as Belle and beast taking a longer moment to look at each other. For her to seem more surprised by his new appearance. I think the moment could've been a bit more emotional. Also the camera angel was a bit odd. But I think Beast looked great at the finale dance scene. I think he looked closer to the animated version in the final dance scene than in the transformation scene.
Well too tired to write more right now. But great movie.
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*major spoilers below*
This film had me on a rollercoaster, that's for sure.
Things I liked:
- LeFou's redemption! Based on social media hype, I was expecting a much bigger romantic moment for him at the end, but regardless, I enjoyed his character's evolution and thought it was appropriately paced and fleshed out. Love when he teams up with the objects during the mob's invasion of the castle.
- Gaston's character evolution. I thought they did a great job making him seem kind of silly and over the top in the beginning and more malicious and threatening as the film progressed.
- The staging and added lyrics for "Gaston." The little bit about LeFou being illiterate was so funny (though I was under the impression that most of the men in the village were literate, while the women were forbidden from learning how to read? Maybe I'm overthinking things).
- Belle! Emma Watson's portrayal kind of mellowed the character out, but I liked watching her invent things and banter with the Beast about Shakespeare and run up a dang mountain to sing, even if, like jprincess said, it did sound a little auto-tuney.
- All the little jokes with the objects in the castle. It seemed like they took some effort to reimagine those characters in a funny and fresh way. Definitely my favorite part of the film.
- The scene with all the objects becoming inanimate after the final petal fell had me in tears, especially the final goodbye (or, rather, lack thereof) between Mrs. Potts and Chip. I was way more emotional about this than any interaction between Belle and the Beast.
Things I disliked:
- A magical time travel book?! I didn't mind that they used Belle's backstory to bring her closer to her father and the Beast, but uh... this really felt over the top.
- The Beast's song when Belle returns to the village to rescue her father. I thought this was a really gorgeous song, but it turned a dramatic moment a little too angsty for my taste. Didn't ruin the film, just felt like it took things in a less powerful direction.
- The Beast's very abridged backstory. It felt like we were being teased with a story that never fully got told. He just becomes cold because his father was cold and/or grieving? Was there more to the story than that?
- The enchantress who lives in the village... or the woods... and is a spinster... whom NO ONE NOTICES standing over the rose at the end? (Yes, I realize Belle is grieving the Beast, but she's literally right there.) I was half-expecting her to be revealed as Belle's long-lost mother or something. Again, not something that bothered me enough to ruin the film, just was a bit confusing.
Overall, this wasn't bad for a live-action remake. But it's much better if you come into it not expecting it to be faithful to the animated version, and probably fine if you expect it to be closer to the Broadway musical.
As I said on the other thread...WOW....It is a must see....everyone who likes this story must go see it. It exceeded my expectations!
Okay, now that I'm awake, I can post my more honest thoughts about the whole thing. I'm going to try to focus mainly on the differences between the original and the LA version first, then give a few thoughts about what I didn't like before giving a little wrap-up. My first statement, my thesis, if you will (which I know might be slightly blasphemous), is that the live action movie is better than the animated film. Here's why.
Fleshing out Characters
One of my favorite things about the film was that they delved deeper into the characters without going too far overboard. This kept the movie and the characters approachable to all ages and viewers. Gaston and Le Fou are the first who come to mind, mainly for the reasons that AshleyV listed above: Gaston's slow progression into malicious behavior, and Le Fou's slow turn away from the man that he has for so long idealized. These developments really helped to drive the story and were always relevant in the plot, which amazed me.
Belle and her father got a ton of fleshing out as well, as did her past and the reason behind some of her dreams. I liked the idea of a small-town girl dreaming of something bigger, but it is far more fitting for the era and the location that this family moved to the town. This town doesn't even really have a library or anything else, so how can Belle receive the education that she claims to have? It was a little strange. Having Belle's father move from Paris, running from the plague which killed his wife makes so much more sense and fills an admittedly small, but fairly important, gap in the plot. Belle's father taking an active role in dismissing Gaston's advances towards Belle also really helped to ingratiate him to me as a character who is more than the bumbling, good-hearted man in the animated film. Of course, the smallest change, albeit the one with the largest impact, is that of Belle herself. Belle takes a far more active role in her story at every turn, but mostly by small measures. Belle was always independent and strong-willed, but now she has a little more realism to her. I think the three things she did that really impressed me were tricking her father out of the cell to take his place, attempting an escape from the castle via an improvised rope (hilarious), and breaking Gaston's arrows. I'm going to leave these mostly vague so I don't give everything away, but suffice it to say that Belle fulfills her independent nature.
The largest and most important change comes from the Beast, and holy cow did it really change the way this story can be interpreted. First, the Beast is well-read!!!! Hallelujah! I never understood what Belle saw in him whatsoever in the animated flim. He had none of the qualities she theoretically wanted in a man (if we're taking Gaston as a "I want none of this") - education, manners, eloquence, kindness, adventure - until she gave them to him. Now, the guy isn't always well-behaved, but at the very least he shares her passion for books and literature and adventure, and this helps tremendously in the act of them bonding. In the animated film, I also never believed that Beast truly changed. As soon as Belle took off to save her father, he turned right back into a feral animal, ripping up his room, screaming, and smashing things. It made no sense! In this film, instead we have him singing a song about how no matter what, Belle will always be with him, in his heart and his mind. Is it a little angsty? Yes. Is it a little corny? Yes. Does it prove that Beast has truly changed for the better, and theoretically for good? Hell yes, and I'll take that any day. This was probably my favorite change in the entire film, and having a fully fleshed-out Beast is meaningful and tremendous.
Overall, the film did a really good job of combining their different source materials (fairy tale, animated film, and musical) while updating and improving upon them, as they should. Belle's father picks the rose as he leaves the castle and is punished for it, much like the original tale. Belle is not only looked on as odd for reading, but to some extent tortured by the villagers for her education and her attempt to spread it. Gaston is far more malicious towards the end and proves his heartlessness.
One thing I'm still not quite sure on is how prevalent the Enchantress becomes. She makes a few appearances as a different character in the film, and then shows up again in the final hour, as the last petal drops. I like that it gives the final scene a little more emphasis - time has run out, but she bears witness to Belle's profession of love and grants a stay of compassion for the Beast, even after his time is technically done. It was quite a beautiful scene. I know that some people may not see the point of the Enchantress, but I like that she is kind of watching over her "investment."
The new songs, with the exception of Beast's final song and the little song that Belle's father sings, I wasn't a huge fan of. They replaced "Human Again" with something about a day in the sun, which I felt was unnecessary. Really, I wish they had added "Me" into the movie, but I understand why they didn't. The only song I really missed was the final duet sung by Beast and Belle from the musical. It's a beautiful piece.
The production values, acting, singing, and overall quality of the film were stellar. As I said before, I think they went waaaaaay overboard on the visuals of "Be Our Guest," but it was nice to see that they focused on Belle being offered a million miles of food but never getting a bit to eat. I laughed so hard at that. I never felt bored in watch it, and even knowing most of the story, it kept me guessing enough from one moment to the next. Another small thing I just thought of that makes a big difference was a series of scenes where Belle actually asked about the denizens of the castle about the enchantment (HOW CAN YOU NOT NOTICE THIS? <-- me screaming at the animated Belle) and how she can help to fix it. Mrs. Potts' reply was perfect: we made our bed, and now we must sleep in it. They did nothing to help Beast become a better man, and they take some fault in that. It's a really interesting thing to see the story and the curse from the perspective of the household, instead of them being simply pieces on a board.
I was very impressed with this production, and can't give my recommendation to check it out for yourself - if you haven't already - enough.
PinPics name: Tokaji
I knew Agatha was the Enchantress when she rescued Maurice and together after healing him went to confront Gaston. Don't ask me how I knew but I told my dear husband that I bet she was.
I loved the movie and as Shelterkat has said, it exceeded my expectations.
I cried my eyes out when the fixtures became antiques. Especially Mrs Potts looking for Chip before her eyes closed. The Prince was very good eye candy at the end. I thought it could have been a little more romantic after the transformation, but what the hell, they already were in love.
If you haven't seen it, go, it's a huge success and more realistic!
You will laugh & cry. I'm going again tomorrow and I haven't gone to the same movie twice since Titanic.
DisneyPinForum Senior Member
AshleyV wrote: "The Beast's very abridged backstory. It felt like we were being teased with a story that never fully got told. He just becomes cold because his father was cold and/or grieving? Was there more to the story than that?"
Don't worry, that will be the basis of the inevitable Disney live action spin-off after this one rakes in the big $$$!
That wouldn't surprise me at all.
Originally Posted by FoolishMortal71
I have heard that a sequel already has been announced (dated tbd). For those who have seen the movie (I would guess that is everyone posting in and reading this thread, but I don't like to assume): do you think a sequel truly is warranted (plot-wise) and can contribute anything to the franchise other than profits?
DisneyPinForum Senior Member
Was there a reason besides profit to make a live action version?! LOL I can't see a sequel but I can see a spin-off of some sort. The Beast's or Gaston's backstory perhaps.
Originally Posted by dancecats
Fair enough LOL! But when you get down to it, isn't the point (ultimately) of every movie made to produce a profit? However, I would argue there is a difference between updating or redoing a movie and contriving a sequel for no reason other than profit-grabbing. Although I may be in the minority in my belief that the live action updates weren't necessary and do not, in any way, improve upon nor add anything to the stories that the original animated films didn't already do.
Originally Posted by FoolishMortal71
Future King of DPF
Well, I saw it tonight and I freaking loved it. While I won't collect BATB I will certainly be making a ISO thread for a few select pins. ;P
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DisneyPinForum Senior Member
A lot of people didn't like Rogue One because they felt it was an unnecessary profit-grab but as a Star Wars geek, I thought it was really good. While the same can be said for BATB, I thought this version enhanced and improved on the original. We're going to see it again this weekend.
Originally Posted by dancecats
BATB is a favorite of mine so I was really hesitant and worried about seeing the movie. Luckily I wasn't let down, I think it was pretty good, better than I expected. My favorite cartoon part is where Beast comes in and saves Belle from the Wolves, in the movie it wasn't as dramatic and spine tingling as I'd hope, and I also wish Beast's presentation of the library was more exciting than how they played it, but otherwise I enjoyed it. Not sure if it's autotuned or not but Emma's voice was so clear and beautiful when she sang, I was impressed.