Maybe it has something to do with being a French romantic fantasy. It’s beautiful beyond words. Simply enchanting, in fact.
Surely there must have been some point in life when growing up, that just about everyone has come across this traditional fairytale, originally written by a French writer in 1740s.
Several versions have followed over the years, further refining the story but maintaining the basic elements which form the core of this legendary fable.
When the cinema arrived, several movies were made around the tale of Beauty and the Beast, but nothing as beautiful and sincere as the 1991 Disney animated classic.
Now studio has stepped up a notch and created a live action version, retelling the old classic in a fresh, new way. And they did a damn good job of it.
Once upon a time in a faraway land, a young, spoiled and selfish prince holds a ball which is interrupted by an enchantress disguised as a beggar. She seeks shelter from a storm in exchange for a single rose.
The prince rudely declines the gift and turned the old woman away. She reveals her real form, casting a spell on him, turning him into a beast and the servants into talking objects.
The enchantress erases the memory of the castle from the villagers’ memories, banishing the prince and his servants into a faraway land.
To break the spell, the prince has to learn to love another and earn her love in return by the time the last petal of the enchanted rose falls. If not, he will remain a beast for the rest of his life.
Years pass by, petal after petal falls, and the beast (Dan Stevens) starts to lose hope.
Meanwhile, in a nearby village, the young, beautiful and bright Belle (Emma Watson) lives with her artist and tinkerer father Maurice (Kevin Kline), who occasionally travels to sell his products.
On one of his trips, he gets lost in the woods and ends up at the castle where he is imprisoned by the beast for stealing a rose from his garden.
After realising her father has not returned, Belle heads out into the jungle to look for him. She also ends up at the castle.
Belle offers to take her father’s place, and in return Maurice promises to come back for her.
Initially, she hates the beast, but soon the two begin to bond. The beast falls in love with her, much to the delight of his servants-cum-objects.
But as the two grow closer, Belle, through a magic mirror, discovers her father is in trouble after being accused of insanity by a war veteran Gaston (Luke Evans), who wants to marry Belle.
The beast lets her go, putting his hope of turning back into human form at risk.
In a pure Disney fashion, the Beauty and the Beast has everything a fairytale movie needs to connect with today’s audience, be they young or mature.
It has songs, and plenty of them, a talking teapot, clock, candle holders and other objects, a young, handsome prince and a beautiful, beautiful girl.
Beauty and the Beast is a well-crafted movie with some talented and acclaimed cast members.
While there is nothing new in terms of the plot, the way Academy winning director Bill Condon depicts the fairytale makes it look unique.
He gives Beauty and the Beast the refreshing touch it needs to keep the audience happy, while remaining true to its original form.
Condon also does well in building the chemistry between Belle and the beast. The subtle use of witty comments between the two and the attraction they have for each other, makes their dance to the melodious title track a beautiful sight.
The graphic work is astounding; it’s superbly done and brilliantly coordinated to breathe life into this fairy tale. There are moments that will leave you gaping in awe.
Watson is an excellent choice to play Belle. With her gorgeous looks, she is every bit of the beauty that any being would fall for.
Beauty and the Beast is exquisite in every way and it will leave you enchanted.
It’s like old wine in a new bottle. All you need is a sip to feel the “magic”.