I swore I wouldn’t cry!
If you were one the lucky ones who grew up watching Disney’s movies during their renaissance period of the ’90s you most certainly saw their adaptation of French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s La Belle et la Bête or Beauty and the Beast. A stunning movie which when fleshed out to incorporate music to accompany the aesthetic didn’t actually change the ethos of the story at all. In fact, it motivated the meaning to find a stereotypical denouement in an unorthodox love story. Well, at least it was in the time it was first written.
The story is majestically told to us in a opening to spellbinding and mellifluous music and stained glass art seguing into a tender song about yearning to escape from a stale existence in provincial France. If there was ever a story that set up exposition and drama to a perfect degree this was it because it draws you in from the get-go and doesn’t let up even past the end credits.
We can only hope the movie will contain all the classic songs from the original animated feature as it is now synonymous with the adults who were children when it was first seen in 1991 and with their own offspring. It’s a part of our hearts and minds. If the score is treated the same way as the recent Jungle Book book it could disappoint fans. The score is every bit important as the story itself. Hearing the violin strings from the original in the trailer will make you tear up in the joy, the sadness and the foreboding tone of what’s to come.
The movie will feature a sterling cast of renowned actors – mostly Brits – in key roles: Emma Watson takes the lead with Dan Stevens as Belle and the Beast/Prince, respectively, Sir Ian McKellen is keep time as Cogsworth, Ewan McGregor will illuminate the guests as Lumiere, while Josh Gad’s Le Fou follows his master, the barge-chested Gaston played by Welsh actor Luke Evans.
Will this movie be another poor adaptation of a much loved and respected musical/story, much like the cinematic interpretation of Stephen Sondheim’s classic Into the Woods (also produced by Disney)? Or will it finally turn the tide and show us that live action interpretations of classic animated movies can really work?
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Directed by: Bill Condon
Written by: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Stephen Chbosky (screenplay), Linda Woolverton (based on the 1991 film, written by),
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellen, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson
Released: 17th March 2017