Review of Beauty and the Beast

The wife and I went to see the reincarnation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

It was okay.

The main story was still good. The movie was successful in that it conveyed the story. I laughed, I cried, etc.

But it was annoying in some aspects. I had known about the changes to LeFou, and I’m not going to discuss that aspect much – only to say that it was more of a distraction that anything else. I’ll liken deciding to watch this movie to what I heard a number of people say about voting for Trump. They did it in spite of his issues, not because of it, because it’s better than the alternative. Except in this case there were many alternatives and none of them was Hillary, so maybe the analogy breaks down there.

I had 3 main complaints about how the movie was inconsistent. Not necessarily inconsistent with the original movie, but rather inconsistent with itself.

  • Claims of Live Action : The big selling point of this movie is that it was a live-action version of the animated classic. Come see the movie you love, but with people doing the acting – it’s not animated! They might not have said those words directly, but that was the feeling that was portrayed.

    Except…

    The Beast was computer-animated, Lumiere and Cogworth were computer-animated, Mrs. Potts and Chip were computer animated, as were the wardrobe lady and the piano guy and the footstool dog and so on.

    It’s hard to accept that a movie is live action when so many of its main characters are not.

    And I didn’t like the CGI, especially with Lumiere. And the Be Our Guest song. And the Beast’s gait. You get the idea – it was distracting.

  • Setting and Accents : Was this set in England or France or America? The story says it’s in France, and part of it takes place in Paris. There are some French phrases thrown in for good measure. But only Lumiere attempts to have a French accent. Belle has a decidedly British accent, and the other main characters sound American. Of course, the best choice would be to have everyone with a French accent. But it wouldn’t have bothered me if everyone had a British accent, or American accent. If the movie is consistent, I wouldn’t notice it. But when the acecnts are all over the place, it is a distraction.
  • Progressive and Oppresive Villagers : I think I understand the director’s/producer’s intention behind casting people of different races, but again it was inconsistent with the story and was more of a distraction. It was inconsistent because those villagers must have been very progressive not only to allow different races to have prominent roles but also to accept mixed-race marriages. (Although the races were only combinations of blacks and whites – didn’t see many Asians in there.) Since the setting is 18th-century France, it was anachronistic. But let’s give the director the benefit of the doubt and assume he was just trying to promote racial harmony and was using this movie as the vehicle to do so. But then we see these same villagers oppress Belle because she dares to teach a girl to read.

    In the original movie, the “provincial” villagers seemed rather indifferent – they thought Belle was odd but didn’t think much of it, and certainly didn’t teach her a lesson for going against the village’s unwritten rules. But this new adaptation of the movie makes the villagers both more progressive and less progressive. Why couldn’t the director have the villagers be supportive of girls’ education? If this movie was to be the means by which equality and tolerance are promoted, why only with the subject of race and not with gender? Again, inconsistent.

One more thing that bothered me was the choice of fuzzy camera focus during pans. Things went extra fuzzy/blurry when the camera was moving. I assume this was the director’s choice, as I haven’t noticed it in other movies I’ve seen. I disagree with that choice, since it happened a few times and each time it took my mind out of the story because my mind was trying to figure out what went wrong with my eyes. Again, a distraction.

The movie wasn’t bad, overall. It just had a number of things wrong with it. See it if you want. But if you want your kids to see a good movie, just show them the original animated version.

Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

Daniel 4:33

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This little article thingy was written by Some Guy sometime around 6:48 am and has been carefully placed in the Life category.

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