A tale as old as time is brought to life

Anusha Kemburu and Ritika Jain

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  Everyone’s been talking about the live action of the 1991 Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. The movie was popular among fans as it paid homage to the original while making it its own. The costumes, the characters, the talking teapots and clocks are all well-known elements of the movie that were brought to life once more.

  Watching the movie, it is evident that the actors were meant to play their respective roles. Emma Watson puts herself in the shoes of the young and independent Belle, a role that required her to sing, dance, and ride horses. Dan Stevens had to wear a 40-pound muscle suit and walk on stilts to prepare for his role as the Beast. Luke Evans plays Gaston, Belle’s boastful and pining love interest, with ease and the right amount of ego.

  The live action accurately reflected the setting and plot of the movie. In 1700 France, the villagers wore traditional French ball gowns and powdered wigs. However, a live-action of a movie set three centuries ago is bound to have some modern influences. The movie paints the characters in a more feminist light. It further elaborates on her intelligence and creativity to portray as less princessy. Gaston’s sidekick, Lefou (Josh Gad) is Disney’s first openly gay character. Although there has been a lot of backlash for this decision, this choice was a minor one, meant to incorporate more qualities to Lefou’s character. Lastly, the movie adds more story to Belle’s mother and the Beast’s past, all while maintaining the original plot.

  One aspect of the movie that many fans have criticized, or found to be disappointing, is the highly autotuned bits of songs. The autotune distracts from the beauty and meaning of the songs, especially the most loved ones such as Belle’s Reprise. However,  the original soundtrack was not touched and new songs were added such as “How Does a Moment Last Forever” and “Days in the Sun.”

  There are memorable scenes in the movie that are depicted perfectly from the original. The scene where Belle is welcomed at the castle with her first meal while the characters sing “Be My Guest” consisted of vibrant colors and enthusiastic dishes dancing across the table. Another noteworthy scene is the ballroom scene where Belle and the Beast dance to “Tale As Old As Time.” When first created in the animated version, this scene was the first in its time, using a different technique with visual animation. While the scene in the recent version stays true to this, it also made sure to not precisely follow it.

  Beauty and the Beast has had the ability to connect with several age groups. Teenagers and young adults who have fallen in love with the movie over the past decade get to see it come to life, and children get a chance to see the beautiful story for the first time ever. Ultimately, the message of the movie and the character that Emma Watson portrays is so significant, especially now. It has taught girls that being different is okay, and to always love with the heart and not the eyes. This movie is a must-see for all, with the right amount of comedy, action, and love.

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