I went out of my mommy cave to watch Beauty and the Beast. That’s actually a big deal considering that the last movie I saw in theaters was Inside Out. But I could not let Beauty and the Beast pass because I grew up with it. I became a bookworm because of Belle. Growing up, I honestly thought that I WAS ACTUALLY Belle considering that I love books so much that people around me would tell me that I’m weird. Haha!
Just a little disclaimer about this review: It may not sound like a REAL review because I have personal biases with Beauty and the Beast. The original movie was shown in the 90s, the time when we didn’t have the means to download movies. We resorted to saving our allowances to rent VHS tapes. I was so glad when my childhood best friend was gifted with an original VHS tape of Beauty and the Beast so that saved me tons of money! Hahaha! Do you know that I was in the US when the Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray came out in time for its 20th anniversary? I bought it even if I don’t have a Blu-ray player!!! Hahahaha! Ganyan ang level ng pagka-faney ko, guys! :p
Again, this post may be more of “How Je’s Heart Reacted After Watching Her All-Time Favorite Disney Movie” than an actual and decent movie review. Hihi! And oh, you might actually “hear” some audible squeals as you read this post. :p
I’m actually glad that the live-action film didn’t deviate much from the animated version. This is why I almost punched someone when I heard him say that he didn’t like Beauty and the Beast because… “same na same kasi sa cartoons!” This is a true story. I almost punched him. Hahaha! But instead, I just had a silent dialogue with my inner self. “So what were you expecting? Were you waiting for Belle to grow fins and gills?” Hahahaha! Koyaaaa naman ehhhhh!!! But seriously, I actually like how they stayed true to the original version.
One of my favorite scenes in the animated movie was when Beast showed Belle his gigantic library! Being a self-confessed bookworm, I can totally relate to Belle. I know how it feels to be gifted with a new book. That’s why while I was watching that specific scene, I totally understood the thanks-for-your-library-you-can-now-have-my-soul kind of look in Emma’s eyes! I was so kilig while watching that scene!
If you’re like me who have seen the animated version a gazillion times in the past, then I’m pretty sure that you noticed the tweaks even with the littlest details. I was actually fine with it. There were also some added details which I believe gave the movie a thicker plot. The addition somehow made the story flow more smoothly.
I love the backstory regarding Belle’s mother. My mommy heart bled as I was watching that particular scene. It somehow explained why Maurice turned out to be the kind of father that he is, and it also gave the Beast some sort of another turning point. It was something which made him connect more with Belle. The Paris scene, in so many levels, was so painful to watch! I found myself crying for Belle because she finally understood why her father decided to keep a lot of secrets from her. I found myself crying for Beast because as self-centered as he may seem, he finally realized that he is not the only person struggling with loneliness. I found myself crying for Maurice because I know how difficult it is for a parent to find the perfect balance between letting your child spread her wings and keeping her safe at the same time. I found myself crying the hardest for Belle’s mother because nothing is more painful than leaving your child. Promise, ga-balde ang iniyak ko sa scene na ‘yun!!!
The cast was superb! I heard someone say that he didn’t like Emma Watson as Belle. (Why? Why does God send me people who hate Beauty and the Beast?! Why is God testing my fist that’s so willing to punch anybody? Hahahaha!) Okay, here’s the thing. I hope people will understand that we’ve loved Belle for decades. And then here comes Emma, and people expect her to be the exact same version of an animated character. I honestly believe that Emma is tailored-fit for the role of Belle. I can’t think of anybody who can play that part better than she did. But the thing is, Emma brought something to Belle’s character. It’s as if she stayed true to the old-fashioned lady from the village who loves books. But Emma also “modernized” it in such a way that she put a different and exciting layer to Belle’s personality. It’s like Emma’s signature created a Belle version 2.0! Hihihi!
Dan Stevens did a great job as Beast. I admit that I was more smitten with Beast than when he came back to his prince self. E kahit naman sa animated version, mas type ko si Beast! Hahaha! But I realized that Dan’s appeal is actually perfect. Para siyang pogi na pwedeng salbahe at hambog pero pwede ring kawawa at mabait. He’s THAT kind of handsome. His eyes exude vulnerability which made the Beast even more endearing.
The rest of the cast is just perfect! I mean, Emma Thompson is just as lovable as Mrs. Potts. I love Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor! I also love Kevin Kline’s portrayal of Maurice. I remember crying as I gazed upon his sad and desperate eyes on scenes that involve Belle’s mother. He was effortless in transforming from a helpless father to someone who would do anything to keep his only daughter alive.
Josh Gad is hilarious as LeFou! I honestly could not understand what the outrage was all about regarding Josh’s character! People actually paid more attention to him being gay than his character’s turnaround. Apparently for some people, his homosexuality is a bigger deal than the lessons he learned about betrayal, friendship and standing up for what you believe is right. Pfffttt! Oh, well!
What took me by surprise was actually Luke Evans. He IS the breathing and moving Gaston! He imbibed all of Gaston’s arrogance, wickedness and vanity and multiplied them ten times! He reminded me of how much I hated Gaston as a child! I loved how the live-action version made Gaston’s character even darker. He did something horrible to Maurice that was not part of the original version. Luke Evans made me hate Gaston even more! But ironically, Luke is so lovable as Gaston! Basta, ang galing niya!
I love the music! I remember hearing someone complain that he didn’t like Beauty and the Beast because… “puro kantahan e!” Hala siyaaaa!!! Wrong movie ka uli, Kuya! Anyway, my heart jumped out of my chest when I heard Beauty and the Beast. It’s just as magical as when I first heard it decades ago. I also loved Be My Guest! Super galing! And I was so kilig with Something There!!! I saw my husband from my peripheral vision, and he was laughing because I realized that my palms were touching my cheeks, and I was grinning from ear to ear. I was singing along with Belle! “There's something sweet, and almost kind. But he was mean and he was coarse and unrefined” Hihihi! I also love Evermore! Oh-Em-Geee! Beast singing Evermore was so heartwarming!
My husband and I discussed the movie after watching it. He has also seen the animated film many times before. It’s so nice that he can actually relate! He even noticed that Chip didn’t help Belle and Maurice escape in the live-action version. Hihi! I told him that I would have wanted to see Emma Watson in a grander yellow gown. Don’t get me wrong. Emma’s gown was beautiful. But THE yellow gown from the animated version is one of the reasons I fell in love with Beauty and the Beast. Once upon a time, I dreamed of getting married wearing that yellow gown. Seriously! Hahaha! But Boyet said that it would have been difficult to dance the way Emma did had she been wearing such a heavy gown. And so I decided to stop nitpicking on Emma’s gown and just focus on how enchanting the ball scene was! For me, that scene was flawless! Every single detail was truly magical! Grabe! I actually had a hard time sleeping the night I watched Beauty and Beast because that scene kept on playing in my head. Hahaha! IKR? But my husband and I agreed that Mrs. Potts, the teacup, should have chubbier and rosier cheeks! Hihihi!
See? I told you this is not a decent review. I apologize if you could hear my excited squealing all throughout this post. I’m just so, so, so glad that Beauty and the Beast exceeded my VERY HIGH expectations! I did not feel that I was watching Beauty and the Beast. I felt like I was part of Beauty and the Beast! It is that kind of amazing! :p