A review of Beauty and the beast.

On the weekend where the Irish celebrate our welsh, snake banishing patron saint by getting blind drunk, what movies does one go to see? Turns out Hollywood’s answer is a little underwhelming, a remake of a Disney classic, a remake of King Kong from the thirties and a movie by American comedian Jordan Peele.

Beauty and the beast is the latest live action film from the super media conglomerate known as Disney. Despite George Lucas giving the company the title of “White slavers” they have continued to find success in their recent string of live action remakes of their vast library of classic animated feature films from the 20th century. The move away from kitsch subject matter like The lone ranger and into adapting old classics like Beauty and the beast has opened up a far more viable audience of young children and middle age women who are often under-served by a Hollywood that continues to chase the young male demographic.

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Watching the film with its target audience gives an interesting insight into the film’s appeal to families and nostalgia seekers, it kept them from screaming and running around or looking into their phones. Instead they seemed to be mostly enthralled by the singing and over the top visuals. For me though, I would prefer a far more creatively impressive fusion of live action and traditional hand-drawn animation as seen in Who framed Roger Rabbit. Yet another CGI driven film where Emma Watson struggles to interact with all the green-screen characters she cannot see, is not something that could be given top marks for effort. However there is some great voice acting talent such as Ian Mc Kellan and Ewan McGregor, who give life to their inanimate characters.

In fact the film reeks of the smell of ‘Passable’. It is a very faithful adaptation of a classic story. The story itself is perhaps the most unassumingly odd thing about the film, an allegory for the process in which women should be attracted to wild and unruly men so they can soften and tame them. This is not a message that really melds well with the female liberation slant that shows its head from time to time in the film. Whether the writers knew about about the allegorical meaning of “Beauty and the beast” is inconsequential. What does matter is that the media did not care and decided the film was automatically politically correct for having a gay male caricature for comic relief, in the foreground of the film’s plot.

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In conclusion to this review, Emma Watson was foolish to pass up La La Land for this. I doubt she had more fun on this set than she would have in Damien Chazelle’s camp, however I do not doubt she was paid a pretty penny to do this picture. As for recommending this to the regular viewer, go see “Get out” instead which I will talk about at some stage but not before I talk about  John Carpenter, who I think Jordan Peele copies and builds upon in many ways. Finally, for families; go watch the original animated film first before seeing this.

Thanks for reading.

Peter Allen.

 

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