Thursday, March 23, 2017

TAKE TWO: Beauty and the Beast

To celebrate, going to court for the 9th time (postponed again until May) we went to see Beauty and the Beast in the afternoon.

It was a wonderful film.

Bring your teenagers, bring your kids, and bring your old grandmother (as my granddaughter did for me).

It is G rated.

The guy who bragged about adding "gay" character should be fired from Disney. No one would have noticed if he hadn't made it an issue: the character is made more sympathetic in the movie, and can and should be seen as a  "Jeeves and Wooster" or a war buddy relationship.

I suspect he wanted to "diss" Christians (presumably for backing the enemy, i.e. Trumpie boy) and send a message to the sophisticated (who disliked the film in their reviews anyway).

No big deal here in the Philippines, where gays are openly all over the place and considered part of the family, and gay characters are common in local films.

But Malaysia and other Muslim and Confucian countries in Asia take this seriously... and I understand they "fixed" the movie by censoring out ten seconds, which sounds about right.

Most of the "added" things add backstories to the characters, and make the movie more interesting.

Gaston was made into a soldier, not a hunter. This makes a lot more sense, about why he would be admired as a leader, and could easily lead the town into war against the beast.

Yes, the scene where he talks to his mirror image about how beautiful he is is funny, but out of character: He is actually "full of himself" for being a hero back from the wars, not for merely being good looking, as is implied in the cartoon.

Emma Watson played Belle as thoughtful and practical. Good casting. She is not stunningly "beautiful", but she underplays the part well... not hysterics. And there is chemistry between her and the Beast

Compare and contrast to  the stunning actress in Cinderella, who I could see making a prince fall in love with her at first sight but couldn't imagine her cleaning up the kitchen, which she does in the fairy tale.

The beast is well played, and yes, he has a backstory too.

the kitchen utensils etc. are CGI and echo the cartoon, The only "backstory" is that at least two of them have spouses who were in town when they were bewitched, so there are reunions at the end (presumably not a lot of time passed between the curse and the transformation).

The "be our guest" music was good, but not as joyful as the cartoon version. However the rest of the songs were fine, and there are even new songs that add to the film.

all the teenage girls at the film sighed when he turned back into the Prince, but I was disappointed: The strong but lovable masculine beast became just a pretty-boy.  Which maybe is why Belle suggests at the end he should grow a beard.

So should you see it? Yes, yes, YES.

And take a handkerchief... or two.

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