Review by Dustin Heller
Beauty and the Beast is the new live-action remake of the beloved Disney classic animated film of the same name. The director, Bill Condon, is no stranger to musicals as he wrote Chicago and directed Dreamgirls. Emma Watson stars as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast alongside a fantastic ensemble cast that includes Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.
A young prince who seemingly had it all is cursed for his selfishness by a beautiful enchantress; the prince is transformed into a hideous beast and his servants into household items. One day, while traveling home from a trip, Maurice, Belle’s father, takes a wrong turn and is imprisoned by the Beast for stealing a rose for his daughter.
Belle attempts to rescue her father, but in turn sacrifices her own freedom in order to set her father free. As time passes, Belle becomes friends with the enchanted staff members and eventually begins to have feelings towards the Beast. Little does Belle know that the only way the curse can be broken is for the Beast to fall in love and have that love returned to him.
Back in the village, Maurice attempts to get help from Gaston to rescue his daughter but is declared insane. As time is running out, the Beast decides to give Belle her freedom in order to save her father, dooming himself for all eternity.
Disney has another huge hit on their hands with Beauty and the Beast; and dare I say that they took something great and made it even better. The movie is such a huge production and really feels larger than life, and the musical numbers are filled with that Disney magic.
Who would have thought that Hermione Granger was such a great singer? Emma Watson is a seamless Belle and plays the role exquisitely. All in all, the entire cast is truly magnificent. As this is a remake, the storyline is almost exactly like the original animated film, but there are a handful of differences and even a few new songs that fit right in.
Aside from all the musical numbers, there are quite a few laughs in the film as well, and the Beast is quite funny himself. Overall, Beauty and the Beast is going to be loved by both young and old, and I think the diehard fans of the original will be jumping out of their seats.
Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters on Friday, March 17