Beauty and the Beast movie review
May 19, 2017
Nostalgia sells- Disney has proved this time and time again with their string of remakes based off of classic animated films. Beauty and the Beast can be added to the lineup along with movies like Maleficent, The Jungle Book, and Cinderella.
Beauty and the Beast isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. For the most part, if you’re a fan of the original 1991 film, you’ll have a lot of fun with this new remake. Because it’s pretty much exactly the same as the classic, replaced with live action and CGI- nothing new is really brought to the table. Disney didn’t refresh or twist the original story that we all know and love. They made a carbon copy of it.
Which is fine- through our rose colored glasses, our childhoods are being recycled on screen over and over again. Beauty and the Beast comes off as boring mostly because we know how it ends. Most of us know all the lyrics to the songs that are being lacklusterly sung on screen. We know, we’ve seen it before- so what keeps bringing us back? Is it the new technology and CGI animation that looks too good to be true? Is it to remind ourselves of the good media we’ve consumed in the past? Or is it because we’re familiar with it so that it feels safe, lacking any risks?
This film had the opportunity to address questionable aspects of the animated classic (debatable themes of beastality and the Stockholm Syndrome, misogyny, representation for young children) but it just…didn’t.
Reviewing this film from an individual standpoint is difficult for that reason. Still, the acting was lackluster and the songs felt flat- it didn’t feel like anyone was really giving it their all. The CGI was impressive to some extent; but by now, we expect the animation we see on screen to be perfectly realistic. But it’s not like Disney didn’t try- they tried and did nothing new with what they had.
To be fair, the movie is magical and sparkly at all the right times. The ballroom scene (you know the one) looks amazing on the big screen, and there’s enough of that starpower to last the whole movie. Everything feels consistently fun; it never gets too dark for its own good.
The biggest, most glaring problem is the unoriginality of all that fun, all that magic. The original movie had that same fun and magic too! It’s only natural that a remake that follows the original by the book would drag some of that along as well. It’s fun, it’s pretty, it’s lovely- but it isn’t new, and it isn’t surprising.
If you like the original movie (or Disney films in general) you’ll most likely enjoy this film too. But if you’re looking for something outside the box and fresh, you’ll have to look farther than the poor provincial town of Beauty and the Beast.