Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Directed by Bill Condon

Rating: 5/5

I prefer to go into a movie with zero expectations. I avoid reviews like I avoid responsibilities. No hype, no let down, ya feel? This time was different. This time I got in on the hype. This time I was the hype. When I found out there was going to be a Beauty and the Beast live action remake with my homeslice Emma Watson, I shed a single tear of joy. I was reborn as a Beauty and the Beast detective—googling the cast (it’s so riddled with A-listers it would use my whole word count to rattle them off, soz fam) and religiously watching, and re-watching, those enchanting teaser trailers became my life. And what a good life it was.

So, when I finally did rock up to Reading, I suffered a brief sinking feeling in my puku—what if I’d ruined it for myself? My excitement level was higher than Seth Rogen. I could only be let down, right? WRONG. This film is the epitome of magic and romance. The only comparable feeling could be getting married… to Justin Trudeau. Seriously. 

We meet the power female lead—bookish Belle, a small-town girl living in a lonely world. During a musical tour around her adorable little French village, we find she is creative, kind, and clever. And, for any concerned, Emma Watson can sing. What can’t this girl do? Next up is poncey prince “Beast”. Accustomed to a lavish lifestyle and feelings of entitlement—Beast is cursed to look as hideous as he is inside. His friends didn’t escape the curse either, becoming adorable pieces of singing furniture. 

Our two eponymous heroes meet when Beast has the overreaction of the century, imprisoning Belle when her father attempts to take a rose. With Belle, Beast learns compassion and empathy. And while Belle’s seedy, self-absorbed admirer Gaston decides to rescue her with her father, Belle demonstrates she doesn’t need saving. 

And that’s just it: Belle’s true freedom comes from maintaining her inner freedom while trapped in Beast’s palace and she, in doing so, frees him from the prejudices of his privileged upbringing.

This article first appeared in Issue 9, 2017.
Posted 12:27pm Sunday 30th April 2017 by Florence Dean.