By Natalie Scott
CALAIS, ME- Being a huge Disney fan, I was skeptical when I heard they were making a live-action Beauty and the Beast film. Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favorites, so I was nervous that this new film wouldn’t be able to fill the shoes of the original. I was completely shocked when I decided to go see the new movie at my local theatre and people were lined up in the streets trying to get a ticket. Leaving an hour early, I figured I would have plenty of time to make it to the theatre, purchase my ticket, grab some popcorn and find a seat before the movie started. I was wrong. I waited in line for thirty minutes in the blistering cold while others around me shivered but didn’t complain, just hoped they would be lucky enough to get in before all of the tickets were gone.
Two of the three theaters were open to play this one film. If you’re from a small town you will surely understand my state of shock. Every other time I had visited this theatre, there were probably only three other people in the entire building. Little girls were crying, holding their parents hand while the ticket clerk told them it was sold out. The father assured the little girl that they would come back tomorrow to try again. We were seated in the very front row, you know, the one everyone hates. With our heads tilted all the way back, we waited for the black screen to transform into the movie.
The movie began as the original film did, with Belle rummaging through the village to return a book she had borrowed from the library. I was very pleased with the first musical scene. It was just like the original film, with some lyrical change, but not much. The cast did an amazing job synchronizing with the actual opening scene. Overall, I was happy with it. Although most of the movie seemed identical to the original film, there were parts that were extremely different. Even though I expected differences throughout the film, I didn’t expect them to change some of the major parts, like Maurice. In the original, he is Belle’s father, the village inventor. In this movie he appears as a painter who cannot fill the hole in his heart where Belle’s mother once was. Another difference I noticed was the beast taking Belle to Paris. This doesn’t happen in the first film, I did enjoy it though. I thought it added a rather nice twist to it. For the most part, the rest of the film is pretty much spot on. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. “I didn’t think I would like it as much as I do! What struck me as over-the-top were the costumes and the way the colors jumped off the screen,” said Jeanne Blankership.
As for the characters, I really enjoyed Emma Watson as Belle. She played the part perfectly. Even though she could have looked a bit more like her, she knew what she was doing. She had amazing chemistry with the beast throughout the entire film. What a transformation. From little Hermione Granger to a beautiful, singing Disney princess. Josh Gad was brilliant as Lefou. His role played an important part i the film and I think they chose the right guy. His performance in the scene where he sings “Gaston” was absolutely perfect. Dan Stevens was also a perfect match, as he played the beast. He was very much like the beast in the original film and did an amazing job bringing out the “creature” in him. Although I liked these characters, some people didn’t feel the magic. “I think they made a huge error casting Emma Watson as Belle. She is a beautiful girl and I have enjoyed her in other films but she wasn’t right for Belle,” said Sheree Gudeman. On the other hand, I didn’t love Luke Evans as Gaston. Although he did decent job playing the part, I think he could have gotten a little more into character. He didn’t seem as into himself as the original, but he did have great chemistry with Lefou. Beauty and the Beast should definitely be on your list of movies to see while it is still in theaters.