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Columns : Screen Scene Last Updated: Apr 8, 2017 - 3:05:36 PM

A tale as old as time updated in modern sensibility
By Rouén Robinson
Apr 6, 2017 - 10:15:19 PM

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When her father is imprisoned in an enchanted castle, a young woman decides to take his place. After doing this, she finds herself in a world of people under a spell due to the callousness of their prince and is unaware that she may be the key to returning them all to their human form.

Belle is a voracious reader in her small village who gives up her freedom to save her father and in doing so becomes integral to breaking a curse through the power of her love for another. The Prince is a self-absorbed child of royalty who becomes the Beast after his callous treatment of someone he believed to be beneath him got him and his servants cursed. Maurice is Belle’s father, a clock-maker who has become increasingly eccentric over the years since the death of his wife and is very overprotective of his only child. Gaston is a war veteran with narcissistic tendencies who has become a hunter and is obsessed with wedding Belle by any means with the help of his sidekick LeFou who is always there to bolster his ego.

Beauty and the Beast is an eye-catching live action retelling of the classic Oscar nominated animated Disney musical. It is obvious how much love went into crafting this movie from the casting to the music to the dazzling effects. Where is falls short for me would be due the the effect of the Beast where they chose to make him more demonic in a sense with the type of horns and tail than in the animated classic which I guess was to take the bestiality criticism off the table but in so doing made him look more like a furry version of Darkness from the 1985 movie Legend. The other problem I had with the Beast was the fact that it looked liked his rendering was slightly off because of the impact he made when compared to Belle in certain scenes which would not have been noticed if they had used a combination of practical effects as well as cgi. Emma Watson does a splendid job of playing Belle more as a sufferer of The Florence Nightingale Effect and less as a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. Bill Condon shows that he was the right man for the job of directing this version of the often told classic and the music of Alan Menken helped ease us into this rendition of the story. A family movie that can be enjoyed on some level by everyone young and old.

I rate this movie a 3 & 1/2 out of 5.

In Theaters

See other reviews by Rouén HERE.

Rouén Robinson has been an avid moviegoer since childhood and has been critiquing motion pictures for almost a decade. He has been a film critic for The Cinemas on Tempo and was a judge for FLIFF On Location: Grand Bahama Island, an off shoot of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF). Rouén lives in Grand Bahama and can be reached at redr1976@icloud.com and on Twitter @thereelrouen

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