‘Beauty and the Beast’: a new twist on a beloved classic


Eddie Coleman

Gosh, it disturbed me to see that I was one of the only teenagers in the movie theater auditorium on opening day of Disney’s new live-action movie, “Beauty and the Beast.”

Based on the 90s Disney animated Oscar-winning classic, “Beauty and the Beast” stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as The Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Ian McKellan as Cogsworth, and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts.

“Beauty and the Beast” is about how a prince and a girl who likes books fall in love in an unexpected way. The prince didn’t let an old woman rest in his castle and, for that, the old woman, who was actually an enchantress, turned the whole castle into inanimate objects. She turned the prince turned into a beast cursed him so that he could only return to human form once he learned how to love. If he didn’t learn to love before his 21st birthday, then the entire castle would live as objects forever.

The girl, Belle, is always teased for how she likes books so much, but, Gaston, an egotistical hunter, wants Belle to marry him despite their differences. His henchman, LeFou, helps him woo Belle throughout the film. Her father, a mechanic, goes away to try and sell some of his wares when he runs into the Beast’s castle and is locked away. Belle finds him and takes his place in the castle prison cell forever. The objects start to realize that Belle could be the one that breaks the spell. In this film, they dig deeper in the storyline by finding out about Belle and the Beast’s parents.

The original “Beauty and the Beast” was the first ever animated film to get a nomination for Best Picture at the Oscars. The film ended up winning Best Original Music Score from musician Alan Menken, who also did the music for the new version of the film. He even added some new music which went into place smoothly with the plot. The Beast even got his own solo. Even though there were some times when you could automatically tell certain lines were full blast auto tuned, the music was still fantastic.

I have grown up watching and listening “Beauty and the Beast” everywhere in my house because my sister was obsessed with it. It was very exciting to finally see a new version after 17 years of hearing it constantly. At least it wasn’t as over-appreciated as “Frozen”.

“Belle,” the song performed by Emma Watson and the townspeople, added some new lines. But, they also messed up one line. In the original song “Belle”, one of the townspeople says, “I need six eggs!” Another after that says, “That’s too expensive!” when they are talking about buying a pumpkin. In this movie, they said the six eggs were too expensive which made me shake my head in denial. “Gaston” changed some lines too and I even laughed a little bit during it. The version they sang might be better than the original because it dug deeper into storyline like how most of the townsfolk are illiterate. “Be Our Guest” did everything right and made the audience want to sing along. “Beauty and the Beast”, performed by Emma Thompson, gave me goosebumps.

LeFou, Gaston’s henchman, was originally just his sidekick who always followed Gaston’s lead. But, in this film, LeFou was attracted to Gaston. Some of the scenes with him dreaming of Gaston were hilarious. But, there is a controversy over this. Places like Alabama, Russia, and Malaysia are ditching the entire movie just because of a few scenes which include LeFou’s romantic attraction to Gaston. At first, I thought the movie was just randomly trying to slide in the gay rights movement, but, LeFou’s homosexuality actually fits in the movie, which is great. Russia, Alabama, and Malaysia are missing out on this film.

The reviews have been average, mostly because of the controversy over LeFou being gay. It received a 71 percent on Rottentomatoes.com, 65 on MetaCritic.com, and a 7.7/10 on IMDb.com. Overall, the movie payed good tribute to the ‘90s animated hit and will be a big success for audiences everywhere.

Feature photo courtesy of www.digitalspy.com.