By Roxanne Stephens
Growing up on classic Disney fairytales leaves us all thinking, “I want that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’” which leads us to look for our own version of a love story.
News of a remake sets off an alarm when applied to the heartwarming tale as old as time, “Beauty and the Beast,” but Disney manages to pull it off.
Not only do they keep the original details intact as much as possible, but they also add missing links that makes it even more satisfying to watch.
The live action version is a delight from the inclusion of 18th century French culture and costumes, to the dancing and music and best of all, a romance that is sure to renew your childhood hopes and dreams.
Each character is crafted to perfection, bringing to life the imagination the original film brought back in 1991. The skepticism was high in seeing Emma Watson go from Hermione Granger to our beloved Belle. Fortunately Watson’s fierce personality shines through and what better role for a self-proclaimed feminist? Although Belle’s sarcasm is not quite up to par as the animated version, she made up for it in her fearless fight to do what is right.
In contrast to Belle’s, the handsome Gaston, played by Luke Evans, portrays the charming, yet deceiving villain that leaves a lasting impression. Dan Stevens leads a performance of the Beast exactly how one would imagine him, frightening, but insecure and vulnerable to the touch of the gentle, yet ambitious Belle.
As Lumiere explains when Belle is first locked away by Beast, “The master’s not as terrible as he appears,” which she slowly finds out as his inner beauty is finally unleashed, allowing them to fall in love.
The underlying theme is that differences should be embraced.
Though Belle and Beast are from different social classes, similar events of life connect their souls, like the deaths of both of their mothers and their strange ways that have caused them to be the outcasts of society.
When the Enchantress disguises as an outcast, it is an alluring idea that we never know who is watching us or who we are really helping. Belle demonstrates a pure heart, choosing to break away from the small minds around her while empowering individuality, education, women and the right to want more than the path that seems to be laid before her.
Belle turns the roles around and saves her Prince Charming by simply opening him up to a new world. Disney also made allowances to open the world up to a more modern society by subtly adding more races and presenting LeFou as being attracted to other males. Though differences can be hard to accept, “Beauty and the Beast” gave another magical picture of how the human race depends on loving one another in spite of our biases.