Beauty and The Beast is a well-known story among the public for decades. The Disney adaption of this fairy tale helped the increase of the story’s popularity. The animated film, released in 1991, was a massive success. It grossed over $400 million box office worldwide and was well-received by the critics. Its title song was also acclaimed and even won several awards, including Academy Award for Best Original Song.
It is not surprising that Disney chose this movie to be remade, among other films such as Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, and Aladdin. The live action-remake of Beauty and The Beast also tells the story of Belle, a book-loving woman played by Emma Watson, and Beast, played by Dan Stevens.
Beast is a ruthless and selfish prince. One day, a woman visits his castle when he is hosting a ball. The woman asks for help and offers him a rose in exchange for shelter in his castle. His rejection makes the woman reveals her identity, an enchantress. She punishes him for his lack of kindness and transforms him into a beast. She also transforms his maids into objects and exiles them by erasing memories of their loved ones. Then, she sets up a rose as a timer. The only way he can break the curse is by loving someone and be loved. If he fails to do that before the fall of its last petal, the curse will last forever.
Years after the event, Belle, who lives in the small town of Villeneuve, longs for an exciting journey. She repeatedly rejects overbearing Gaston, because Gaston is not her type. When Maurice, her father, lost in the woods, he finds Beast’s castle and seeks shelter. However, Beast imprisons him when he finds out Maurice steals a rose from his garden.
When she sees her father’s horse returns without him, Belle starts looking for her father. She finds him getting locked up in a castle dungeon. She tricks her father and Beast to get her father out, but she gets locked up in the dungeon instead. The Beast agrees to let her father go if she replaces his place. She starts to acquaint herself with the servants of the castle. Bit by bit, she starts befriending them and the Beast. Meanwhile, Maurice tries to get help from the villagers to save Belle. Gaston, who has ulterior motives, agrees to help him.
The live-action remake is not a far departure from the animated movie in terms of story. It is still filled with beautiful costumes, enchanting scenery of Medieval France, and enjoyable musical score and songs. However, its faithfulness makes it a rather dull watch if the viewer has high expectations and require something new. Some critiques question the confinement element of the story and ask whether it is still relevant in our time. Despite these critiques, the movie is still an enjoyable experience to have if the viewer simply wants something familiar to spend the time. It might not have something new to offer, but its dazzling visuals and music will transport you to the magic of fairytale, even for just a couple hours.