It was not to a big surprise that Disney’s newest remake of the classic Beauty and the Beast has swept popularity at the box office. The enchanted fairytale made with rich music and tremendous eye-catching performances managed to not only lure children but also the interest of many adults. With the strong cast and an exceptional production value, the movie did not disappoint to deliver the magic of the story from decades ago. If there was one thing to criticize, however, its heavy concentration on computer-graphics and extravagant screen playing at times drove the focus away from the innate charms of the characters and storyline.
“Personally, I enjoyed the remake all throughout, although I cannot truly say that it was better than the original movie,” said Katie Lee (10), a fan of Disney classics. “One thing I can say for sure is that the movie never allowed me to take my eyes of or dwindle with boredom. The extravagant colors and music had my eyes glued for the entire duration. Even though I knew how the story was going to turn out by heart, the reinterpretations of each character made it interesting to continue watching and anticipate how the story would fold out.”
The remake changed very little of the details from the actual story itself with the same lines and characters of the original 1991 version. Emma Watson, who takes on the role of Belle, brings forward the charm of the original character at the movie’s heart. It was not exactly unprecedented that the much admired actress would capture the minds of the audience, but many experts credit the success of the movie to the actress’s inherent beauty and talents. Being an outspoken feminist, Emma Watson is a clever select for playing the role of the one of the original Disney princesses. According to an interview conducted by Elle, the actress turned down the offered role of Cinderella in the 2015 remake of the classic animation, due to the inherently sexist “damsel-in-distress” premise of the entire movie. Belle, on the other hand, as a smart, courageous, and free-willed character, caught the attention of Emma Watson as she was more in the interests of proving that women, and even the original princesses, do not need a prince to save their day.
While breaking down gender barriers, the Beauty and the Beast remake also managed to diversify its cast of characters by adding new elements of identity and race. Most noticeable in the film is the inclusion of a gay character where LeFou, Gaston’s trusted sidekick, is openly gay and crushes on Gaston. Although the interpretation of a gay character has come with its response of controversy, as a theatre in Alabama even declined to show the movie and Malaysia has expressed a desire to censor the film, this new element marks an important step in the direction of gender and sexual equality in film making, especially towards its majority young audience.
Every single scene of the movie contains a flattering and colorful screen that entertains the eye. The CGI is definitely interesting to look at and never fails to lose the attention span of the young children in the audience. Critics, however, have condemned the over-dressing of scenes in the movie for reasons that it shifts the focus away from the true humanity of the film. The kind of beauty that the original film with its grainy but colorful screen work sent to the hearts of many was definitely lost in the remake; nonetheless, without too much change in content and the movie’s successful casting, the remake did not fail to impress.