#MovieReview: ‘Beauty and the Beast’

OPINION: 1991 saw the very first time an animated feature-length film was nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. That film was unquestionably Disney’s Magum Opus, Beauty and the Beast: the love story that enchanted millions of children around the world.

In April 2014, Disney announced a live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast was in pre-production. The children of the 90s went insane with nostalgic joy, and the teaser trailer, released on May 24, 2016, became the highest viewed trailer in history, at 91.8 million views within 24 hours.

Finally, the tale as old as time, that taught children to see beyond the exterior, to the heart within, was going to get the ‘Hollywood treatment’. When the theatrical trailer was released, excitement in the air and on social media was almost palpable.

Finally, the day arrived. Hosts of viewers, from every generation, sat down and prepared to be astounded by the spectacle of Disney’s live-action CGI revolution.

Leaving the theatre, there was a different atmosphere altogether. Disappointment, despondency, and depression followed what should have been a feast for the eyes and a homage to the greatest love story ever told.

The ‘Hollywood Machine’ had destroyed the heart-wrenching nostalgia that had swelled the emotions of fans, young and old. The CGI that had made Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book come alive was nowhere to be seen between awful graphics and even worse acting. Hermione Granger fans were horrified at the limited range of emotion that Emma Watson struggled to convey as the feisty and fearless Belle that we had all come to know and love.

The Beast was the most disappointing aspect of the film: instead of the furious temper that was tamed by the love of a beauty, there were dead eyes hidden behind CGI that remained blank and lifeless throughout the entire film.

Remember the iconic moment when the Beast unleashes a heart-breaking roar after letting the love of his life ride off to save her father? Well it’s gone. Now the Beast decides to sing a song. When you lose your love, the last thing you do is break into song.

Emotionless and empty

What spoiled the film for me the most were the unnecessary backstories, that lagged the film and truly watered down any emotional connection to the characters.

The internet erupted with fury that Disney had destroyed what could have been a masterpiece. They truly dropped the ball when they chose Bill Condon to direct the film, which was no better than the Twilight sequels that he had created.

As an avid fan of Disney’s animated original, my heart was broken after having to sit through two hours of nothingness and boredom. If you loved the original as much as I do, and if your childhood was built upon the magic of Disney, then I caution you to avoid this disaster of a remake, and re-visit the splendor of yesteryear, or risk your nostalgia turning to disgust. Don’t believe me? Read through the User Reviews on IMDb and you’ll get the sour taste of what I’m talking about.


Belinda Brock

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