10 Reasons Why the Beauty and the Beast Remake is Perfect
I went to see the new live action Beauty and the Beast remake with my mum for Mother's Day last night and holy moly was it incredible. BATB is one of my favourite Disney films, and I was so worried about getting my hopes up in case the producers ruined my impression of the original film, or it totally fell flat. But it shone. I was overwhelmed by how much I loved it, and ten minutes into this film I was pretty darn certain I'd be writing this post. So, here are my top ten reasons for falling head over heels for it, and obviously I'm putting out a massive spoiler alert, because duh.
1.) All of the original songs were kept in. I was half expecting just to see 'Tale as Old as Time' and 'Belle' (aka Little Town) but they were ALL THERE *weeps*. They didn't try to jazz them up too much, and the remake of Gaston's song was just incredible IMO.
2.) Iconic outfits were kept in. We've all seen the hype over Emma Watson's yellow Belle dress, because that's just a part of the film that had to stay, right?! That dress is #goals. But, they also kept her plain blue and white frock (I love this one SO much), the red hooded coat she wears in the snow, and the Beast's white transformation tee and iconic navy blue suit.
3.) Chip and Mrs Potts had cockney accents. I don't know why I loved this so much, but it just added that extra bit of charm. I guess tea = British and London = the capital of England so it makes sense? I think it made Chip that extra lil bit adorable. On a side note, they kept the Chip's bubbles scene and his 'what's there mamma?' line. Major love for that.
4.) There was a reason for Beast being nasty. Let's face it, in the first film he's just a straight up bellend. He's a rich Prince who turns away a woman because she's ugly and only realises his mistake once she's pretty *sigh*. In the remake we get a back story: the Beast lost his mother at a young age, and his cruel father turned the sweet young boy into the Beast he is inside. And yeah, he still rejects the old enchantress, but it's because of his pride rather than misogyny. Not much better, but a little different none the less.
5.) Le Fou was attracted to Gaston. There were so many homoerotic undertones in the film in their relationship and I LOVED IT. And the best thing? It wasn't made a big fuss of. Le Fou was in love with Gaston, or at least attracted to him, and that was that. He wasn't mocked by any character, or cast off by Gaston because he loved him. Equally, the producers weren't making him stand there shouting 'LOOK AT ME, A GAY CHARACTER IN A DISNEY FILM, GO US'. In fact, the only other character to comment on the attraction was Mrs Potts, saying that Gaston didn't deserve Le Fou anyway.
6.) The cast wasn't completely whitewashed. I don't remember the last time (maybe there hasn't been one?) in which there were so many POCs in a cast without the film being about racial issues. For real. Although the majority of the main characters were white, the producers hadn't used any of the age old excuses of 'sticking to the original film' or 'sticking true to the history as we see it' to make the entire cast white. Madame de Garderobe (the wardrobe, and originally part of the Prince's court; she sings the opening song of the film), Plumette (the castle's maid and Lumiere's love) and Pere Robert (the librarian) were all played by POCs, as well as a large proportion of the extras. It was so fab to finally see this in a mainstream film.
7.) The trippy colourful 'Be Our Guest' scene from the original was incredible in 3D. You know the scene with all the plates and cutlery flying around, in which the household is treating Belle to her first (secret) dinner in the castle? I always wondered how they'd do it in the live action remake; would it just be left out? Nope. It was just as fun-filled, colourful and hypnotic as it was the first time around.
8.) The new songs were incredible. I didn't realise before we went that the LA remake was more of a musical than the original. I love musicals so we were all fab on that front. There were a few new songs to mix in with the old and they slotted in so naturally, it was amazing. My personal favourite was 'Evermore', which the Beast sings after Belle leaves the castle. It tugged on pretty much every single one of my heartstrings.
9.) It made me cry. Fun fact: the original Beauty and the Beast was the first film that ever made me cry. Watching this for the first time made me shed a few tears too. I'm a sucker for a back story, and seeing both Belle's and the Beast's opened up new aspects of their characters to me.
10.) Belle was no damsel in distress. Belle of the original is iffy ground for me: she doesn't want to marry Gaston because she's not physically attracted to him, that's pretty much it. Her father doesn't notice the rapacious advances of Gaston, and Belle just kind of settles for it. Plus, when she reaches the castle, she offers herself up as a sacrifice - the Beast and her father don't really care. She needs rescuing from the wolves. She remains subdued and quiet and all in all I find her a bit problematic. The new Belle totally turned this around. She tells Gaston in no uncertain terms that she will never be his wife: she doesn't like him and she's too young to marry. Her father actively goes against Gaston and him and Belle team up against the man. She holds her own ground in the face of the Beast, makes several attempts at escape, and it's only her belief in the inherent goodness of people that makes her help the Beast.
I was really prepared to come out of the cinema underwhelmed and disappointed that one of my favourite movies had been wrecked but oh my word I was amazed. All I wanted to do was march back into the cinema and rewatch it straightaway. Safe to say that I NEED the soundtrack now, and I'll be buying the film as soon as it comes out. Love, love LOVE.