Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Beauty and the Beast; a review

I am sorry to the few readers that I do have, for my week long absence. It has been a week of sleep deprivation, of tears, panic attacks and downright stress. It has been a lonely week and I have been trying to make time to write here all week, but unfortunately deadlines have gotten in the way. I handed the last one for a few weeks in yesterday morning at half past eight. I am not particularly happy with said essays but I've come to the conclusion that, due to my crippling insecurities, I will never be one hundred percent happy with any assignment that I hand in. If I ever see a copy of The Great Gatsby again, it will be too soon, my friends.

Anyway, last night I treated myself to leaving the house. I went to the cinema for the first time in what feels like forever with a couple of friends. We went to watch Beauty and the Beast. I have so so much to say and most of it will be gushing. I apologise in advance. If you don't want any spoilers then look away now. If you'd rather read a summary by Dan Stevens, then here you are;

 'Novel-loving Belle (Emma Watson) lives a peaceful life with her father (Kevin Kline), but it seems as if she’s destined for spinsterhood. Until, that is, a chain of events leads her to a mysterious and decrepit castle, occupied by a furry brute with anger issues (Dan Stevens)'.

Okay, so I want to start by addressing a request that was made of the film a few weeks ago; it was asked that the homosexual moments be removed for Malaysian release I have never thought this to be a reasonable request, but after seeing it I realised that this would be virtually impossible. There were homosexual moments between Gaston and Le Fou littered throughout the film and they were far from cringe worthy. They were hardly worth banning. Though I read this morning that these requests had been dropped and I'm so glad. Having grown up watching Beauty and the Beast more than any other film, ever, I felt that Le Fou's character was always lacking something. He has always had a devoted sense of loyalty to Gaston, and yet no motive. However, the possibility that he may be in love with the Captain and that is why he participates in the condemnation of 'crazy old Maurice'. There was a real sense of character development in this version. My favourite moment with Le Fou appears towards the end of the film. The villagers are attacking the castle, and he seems to switch sides after a conversation with Mrs Potts. She informs him that he deserves much better than the way he is treated by Gaston.

These new and exciting back stories and motives are absolutely amazing. For example, we discover the reason why Gaston is so quick to go after the beast; he craves another war like experience in order to add meaning to his now empty life. Le Fou is able to calm him down with the mention of the tragedies of war and thoughts of lonely widows help particularly well in this case, apparently.

Even Belle and Maurice had a back story, and the story of Belle's mother is finally revealed to us. I loved finding out more about their little family. It made the characters seem so much more human and realistic. The same occurs with the Beast. And not only did the Beast have a past, but he has much more of a character in this remake. He is a book worm and rather than relying upon Belle to civilise him, and teach him to read he states that he had an 'expensive education'. The story became much more about two book worms falling in love and I loved this so much more than her educating him. I loved Dan Stevens in Downton Abbey so seeing him in a remake of my favourite childhood film was magical. Additionally, Empire points out that the Beast resembles Pan's Labyrinth's faun. I absolutely love this film! Belle questions whether or not every object in the castle was once a person; picking up a hairbrush. This was refreshing! She seemed more clever, and even more emotionally invested in her literature.

The songs from my childhood were still included and if it was appropriate to break into song in the middle of the cinema, I would have done. The beautiful thing about the songs was the additions to them. There were the occasional words that had been altered, and in some cases there were brand new songs. I think that I went into the cinema with a mind ready to make comparisons between my child hood favourite, and this highly anticipated remake. It is entirely possible to draw comparisons. But eventually, you have to appreciate the, for having merits of their own and begin to disassociate one from the other. These new songs and alterations enabled me to do this; to keep one separate from the other. My favourite song will always be Belle. But the CGI involved in Be Our Guest made it even more of a close second than ever. It was enchanting. However, I will express extreme disappointment at the removal of my favourite line from the song 'Gaston'; 'Nobody persecutes harmless crack pots like Gaston'.

Belle's refusal of Gaston reminded me of Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Belle informs him that they cannot make each other happy. To me, I heard Elizabeth's refusal of Mr Collins as she informs him that she is quite sure she is the last women that could make him happy. However, one thing I did not enjoy was the fact that Gaston attempted to compliment Belle's carrying of a book in order to gain her favour. Gaston doesn't appreciate her intelligence at all.

I am still puzzled by the role of the enchantress. She appears again at the end of the film. Yet she is silence. Hmm.

Anyway, I absolutely loved this film if that wasn't already clear. It was what I had been waiting for and more. I'm so excited for it to be out on DVD. The characterisation, the mise en scene, and the music was all perfect. They cast the perfect Belle. I one hundred percent recommend this! Especially in 3D!

I am however bitter that I lost at a game of bowling before the film.

I hope you've all had wonderful days. I now have Milton's Paradise Lost to contend with, whilst listening to a wonderful blend of both Beauty and the Beast soundtracks. Milton was made much more entertaining this morning; my lecturer's showed up with fig leaves, apples, and a scythe. I was thoroughly amused and confused this morning. It made getting up early on a Wednesday morning so much more worth it!

One last thing; Soph and Dan asked me for a shout out in todays post. Thank you for the entertainment guys, but for gods sake talk quieter.

Enjoy the rest of your week guys!

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