Beauty and the Beast fails to meet expectations


Grace Dorsey

Like with all remakes, Beauty and the Beast needed to bring a lot to the table in order to impress viewers, especially lovers of the original. Unfortunately, even with the $160 million budget and the massive amount of hype Disney has put behind the film, it failed to truly capture the vitality like it had in the 1991 version.
First, there was the CGI. Features like the Beast’s face, the wolves and the living candlestick/teapot/clock etc, were off-putting. Looking at previously released movies like the Jungle Book, one would expect spectacular and believable application of the special effects, especially in a film that relies on it so heavily. Instead, producers presented something that felt dull and more like animation than real life.
Although the story definitely happened in 1700s France, the accents weren’t cohesive. While characters like Belle (Emma Watson) had a distinctly British accent, others had very strong French accents which confused the story.
In regards to acting, overall it was pretty good. Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad) were standouts with their addition of humor. The voice actors for the living house decor also worked well, especially Lumiere (Ewan McGregor) whose energy filled voice helped balance out the duller scenes. Belle and the Beast had alright chemistry, but it certainly wasn’t stunning or captivating.
The addition of more extensive backstories for Belle and the Beast (Dan Stevens), helped explain certain aspects of each character but there wasn’t much connection emotionally to the main narrative. Without a strong tie, those scenes seemed more like filler than substantial parts of the movie.
The visuals (aside from the CGI) were beautiful and fit the story, but that aspect alone wasn’t enough to elevate this mostly average movie.
Overall, this is a film that doesn’t really warrant a trip to the movie theater, no matter how much Disney’s advertisements might try to convince one otherwise.