Photo Courtesy of Tribune News Service
‘Beauty and the Beast’ — starring Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens
8 out of 10
By Graham Armknecht ’18
“Beauty and the Beast” is a remake of a classic Disney cartoon of the same name, and it carries that name well.
The film holds much of the same magic as the original, but tweeks small things that work with massive effect.
For example, Belle’s mother is mysteriously gone in the original with no explanation, and now it’s shown that she died during the Black Plague outbreak in Paris, which also explains why Belle and her father both moved to the town they are in now.
Other small additions include Gaston being a war veteran, Lefou being gay, and other small touches that add to some of the funniest dialogue from the original.
The iconic characters from the original are well cast with Emma Watson playing Belle. She fits the character very well and sent chills down my spine with her opening number.
Her singing voice might not be the same as the original actress, as some of the soaring notes were tapered off early. However, the shorter notes fit more in today’s modern landscape of musicals.
Dan Stevens plays Beast, and he is my favorite casting choice made in this whole film. He has a deep tambor in his voice, which lends well to the gargantuan character that he plays.
He also had a lot of great facial movements even while he was Beast.
In addition to his acting, his singing voice is beautiful. His number, “Nevermore,” resonated with me long after I’ve left the movie theater and was by far my favorite part of this movie.
Luke Evans plays Gaston, and he physically fit the part to the letter. However, his singing voice didn’t fit as well.
Gaston has a generally lower range, much in the same way that Beast does, and it disappointed me when Gaston started singing and his voice ended up being higher. It seems like it wouldn’t be much of an issue, but it hurts his character in my opinion.
The final thing factor is the visuals of this movie.
Originally, I was worried for the visuals when I saw the trailers. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how great it all looked, especially in “Be Our Guest.”
None of it seemed out of place, and fit with the more realistic tone of the movie.
Overall, I give this movie an 8 out of 10 because of the great casting and visuals, but I take a few points off for Gaston being a tenor.