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Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

'Beauty and the Beast' falls short of total enchantment

'Beauty and the Beast' falls short of total enchantment

If you own a Google Home and chose to query the device with the "My Day" feature earlier this week, chances are that you were startled to hear an advertisement play for "Beauty And The Beast", which opens today. The one who steals the show is Josh Gad, as Gaston's goofy, but lovable sidekick LeFou. Watson remarked of the moment, "It really tells the story of Beast and Belle falling in love".

Elsewhere, Luke Evans is an excellent choice to play villainous Gaston. The character in the live action isn't just a narcissist, he's cruel.

"Controversial gay moment kept in Disney's #BeautyAndTheBeast". I appreciate the live-action version for its beauty (no pun intended) and the subtleties it adds to the plot, but it's never going to replace the animated version in my mind.

Watson took in $3 million to play the movie's lead, Belle, but her pay will jump to $15 million if the movie has a worldwide take similar to the studio's 2014 "Maleficent" release ($759 million), according to The Hollywood Reporter. This is a film that has based much of its promotional advertising on accuracy and dedicated reproduction: A quick Internet search of "Beauty and the Beast side by side trailer" brings up uncanny comparisons to the 1991 classic. Dan Stevens does a good job as the Beast, although at some points it's hard to know whether to give him or the CGI folks credit for the emotions he's able to convey; he certainly does a fine job in his brief appearances as the human prince. Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen, and Stanley Tucci are all great in a movie that jumps off the screen with a sense of pure joy. I think if you hadn't seen the previous Disney version, this one would stand alone and proudly so. The 2017 version is at its toe-tapping best during its most popular songs - namely Belle to start off the film - and it's easy to get swept up in the nostalgia of it all. Usually when you walk onto a set you can see the smoke and the mirrors, you can see the bones of how it was put together. Belle's wanna-be suitor Gaston and his right-hand man Le Fou step up, taking a crowd of villagers along with them. Try not to get lost in them the whole movie. Do you want to hear a list of other films coming to theaters this week? They really take their time building up to it and when it finally happens I guarantee you goosebumps will being moving throughout your body and stay with you the entire time.

For the most part, excellent.

The six-time Tony victor is looking past all that; the role is a big one for her. "Those who always desired a little more depth from Beauty and the Beast will be happy, too".

"In fact it's better than that - it's quite good, thanks to the sturdiness of the story, the jaw-dropping visuals and, most importantly, the one thing the first film didn't offer: Emma Watson".

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