Movie Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Star Rating (out of 5): ***
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is yet another live-action Disney adaptation retelling a powerful story of the merits of compassion and the evolution of love. Does Bill Condon’s direction live up to its potential?
Emma Watson gives a strong and endearing performance as Belle, a complex young woman who is naturally finding her own path. I found myself rooting for the character early on, as she displays a difference from every other woman in her village. Unlike those women, she has personality and doesn’t need a man to be complete. However, Emma is open towards love and seeks more than looks.
That’s where the Beast (played by Dan Stevens) comes in. With the help of some amazing motion capture technology, Stevens does a great job of showing the growth in the Beast’s personality as he associates with Belle. She teaches the Beast to be a better being in every way, and this inner journey is worth watching.
This film’s production value is impressive and true to the overall tone, boasting beautiful colors.
Whereas the most entertaining scenes are between the Beast and Belle, others featuring side characters hurt the pace. The writing could often be a lot richer, and when we’re not around the two titular characters, I felt like the passion in the acting wasn’t there.
For a good while, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST drives its philosophy home with strong performances from the two leads. Unfortunately, the rest of the story and cast lack passion.
Review by SAM SILBER