Belle, a young woman, and bookworm at heart, longs for a life outside her uneventful, judgmental village. Belle gets her wish for excitement after her father does not return from his annual trip to the market. She wastes no time to journey out in search of him in the woods where she is met by a towering castle where a beast and his house staff reside along with her father as a prisoner. Disney’s 2017 adaptation of the 1991 classic casts Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as Beast. The movie opens with a brief storytelling of a materialistic prince at one of his lavish balls. Mid festivities, an enchantress disguised as an old hag arrives and offers the prince a rose which he arrogantly refuses. However, the rose holds a curse turning the prince into a beast along and anyone else who lived there into pieces of the castle itself until Beast can appreciate and discover love within.
Beauty and the Beast: A retelling of a tale as old as time. The film is filled with the traditional songs from the original along with new additions like “How Does a Moment Last Forever” by Celine Dion. The first musical scene is “Bonjour” which Belle belts out as she strolls through the bustling village market. Here the audience gets to see the most of Belle’s unique personality exuberated compared to the townspeople’s traditional standards. Belle desires much more than to stay in the small village and give in to the wooing of the village womanizer Gaston. Next, the movie provides background to Belle’s life as we meet her father Maurice, a trinket maker. Maurice is set to go out on his annual trip to the market to sell his work and promises to bring back Belle a rose as he does every year. Quickly, Maurice’s trip goes awry as he ends up in uncharted territory deep in the woods where Beast’s castle emerges. Once entering, we get a slight taste for the house staff as Chip, a small teacup, speaks to him and Maurice scrambles out, but not before picking a rose for Belle from the garden resulting in his capture by Beast.
Belle continuously demonstrates her courage throughout Beauty and the Beast. With no hesitation she takes her father’s place as Beast’s prisoner. Lumiere the feisty candelabra and Cogsworth and old, traditionalist clock are the first inhabitants of the house Belle meets besides Beast. Both act as Belle’s informative hosts and guide to the castle rules. After showing Belle to her luxurious room, the house staff insist Beast must apologize to Belle for frightening her, but Belle once again puts down any thoughts of weakness as she already is planning an escape out the window. She eventually accepts the dinner party invitation which leads into the song “Be Our Guest.” Belle is placed sitting at the head of the dinner table as Lumiere conducts an orchestra of pots, pans, champagne glasses, and flatware to entertain. “Be Our Guest” is an enlightening performance not only for the audience but for Belle as well. The screen is lit up in a kaleidoscope of colors as the table and kitchen come alive. A fountain spews pink water, silverware dances, and various scrumptious food and champagne glasses bubble in a formation all to impress Belle.
The setting in each scene adds to the audience’s overall visual enjoyment the film brings. The townspeople’s attire in a multitude of lively colors and patterns, variations of pink flowers being dispersed in one of the market booths frame Belle as she sings, and the vibrant colors of the food merchants are selling all contribute to the bright atmosphere on screen. Beast’s castle is another visual hotspot. The bedroom which Belle is locked in is nothing like a punishment but more like a paradise. Each wall is adorned with metalwork climbing up the walls like golden ivy.
Disney’s remake faltered in no aspect in the live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. The film sticks to the original storyline but with the progress of CGI audiences get to experience live action with fantasy elements come to life on screen. As the prelude emphasizes, love is a main component of the tale. For instance, love is the reason Belle took her father’s place as prisoner and Gaston’s motivation in pursuing Belle. Beast and Belle discover love within as they spend time together at the castle. Despite their clashing demeanors with his brash and rude comments to Belle’s and her warm heartedness, both bond as the days go by over a passion for literature. Even the members of the castle demonstrate the importance of love as Lumiere and Plumette his feather duster girlfriend yearn to be back together in human form. Love is powerful but is it strong enough to reverse magic?
Duration: 2hr 10 min
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
Cathleen Meyer | Writing Contributor
B.A. | Communications | Cal State Univ – San Marcos
Cathleen is a college student who places an importance on being active and is an old soul at heart. Her music taste is a jumble of different artists with favorites like ABBA, Def Leppard, Journey, and Fleetwood Mac. When it comes to movies, musicals and 80s are her first choice. Cathleen wrote for her school newspaper for two years in high school and since then has participated in a government and human resources internship. She enjoys delving into a good book whenever possible, with time period pieces being her favorite type of literature to explore. Being a Disney fan since birth, her favorite time is spent with her family at the happiest place on Earth. A personal hobby of Cathleen’s since she was young, is hairstyling and makeup. Once she completes college, she plans to attend Paul Mitchell Beauty School to follow her passion. Cathleen hopes to apply her communication and literature degree to a variety of career paths most importantly including public relations. | Instagram @Cat17Cat| View My Articles
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