Beauty & the Beast: A Review I Didn’t Want to Write (Spoiler Alert)

But I have to. I have been trying to stay away from critiquing popular film and media, and up until now, I think I may have succeeded.

However, enough is enough. Beauty & the Beast was my absolute favorite movie growing up. Me and my parents and brother watched it every single year by the fire place when it snowed.

And sure, it’s not exactly the pinnacle of sane or reasonable, what with all the Stockholm and beastiality, but it’s a good movie dammit.

Where do I begin? Let’s break this down.

Hold on to your hats, folks. This is going to be a long one.

Music:
Not only did they randomly add songs that never existed before, the first song was different. It was difficult to sing along to, and it was awkwardly executed.

The “Gaston” song was a cheap heap of unimpressive acting. It was originally an upbeat, funny, obnoxious number that you couldn’t help but break out in song with. In this movie, the song was slow, slightly disconcerting, and not at all fun or light-hearted. It was a tribute solely to Gaston’s hubris without the snarky and bouncy undertone.

“Be Our Guest” was perhaps the greatest failure of them all. Lumière’s singing was slow and boring. The plates were dancing to a beat that was more suitable for a serenade than an entertaining dinner show. I cannot fathom why the directors would do such a thing.

Cast and characters:
Belle. Emma Watson is a good actress. That is undeniable. I don’t care that her voice was auto-tuned. No complaints on that front, either. However, I don’t think that she quite captured the spirit of Belle. The acting wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good, either. When I look at her, I don’t see Belle.

Gaston. Gaston, Gaston, Gaston. They cast an unfunny version of the original character that does not make up for his narcissism with anything humorous. Gaston is a terrible person, but we love watching him and singing his song. This guy was not Gaston. He was a creepy stalker type antagonist that seemed really out of place, and he was far too evil.

I wanted to hear my favorite line: “It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting ideas and thinking…”

New guy couldn’t pull it off. No disrespect to the actor, but he was not cast for the right role.

LeFeu: I loved him. It was a perfect casting. He was funny, he was true to his character and there should be zero complaints about him. Excellent in every single way. I think Jonah Hill would have been a great casting for that role too, but as it is, this actor did a remarkable job.

Now, let’s talk about Lumière. This was perhaps one of the most agitating parts of the movie. Lumière is my favorite character in Beauty & the Beast. He is funny, charismatic, sarcastic, and debonaire. In the remake, to put it frankly, he is flat. There is no charisma. There is no spirit. It’s just a metal thing with a face on it that looks unpleasant at best.

Belle’s father. Where was the loving and a little off his rocker inventor that kept blowing things up and creating all-too-dangerous inventions that probably wouldn’t be very helpful? He wasn’t even remotely eccentric, in the remake. He was a beloved character who was turned into a wise old man with secrets about Belle’s mom.

Beast. No. He was far too rational with Lumière in the beginning of the movie, and his tempter wasn’t quite up to par. The Beast was supposed to be tearing things to shreds and roaring at literally everyone around him. He was forced into a more humane demeanor, maybe to decrease the psychotic element of beastiality, and it just didn’t work.

Poor old Cogsworth. This character was hysterical in the original movie, but he barely had lines in the remake. His and Lumière’s dynamic was a major part in the story. Bye bye, best friends.

Scenes and Storyline:
Let’s go through it in order. The introduction can only be described as gratuitously ostentatious. It set the scene for a disorganized and mediocre film.

The inventor’s invention. The original movie showed Belle’s father in a frenzy with logs and axes flailing around. He was creating something that would never likely be sold to any sane person. In the remake, he just sits at a desk playing with what looks like a windmill. They have a calm conversation and he then goes off to the market, not an inventor’s convention. It was nothing short of awful.

Upon entering the castle for the first time, Belle’s father is not greeted by the castle’s many inhabitants. He helps himself to food and drink, like a common thief. He gets tossed in jail by his own doing. Not defending the cruelty, but it wasn’t entirely uncalled for.

Gaston ties Belle’s father to a tree and leaves him for the wolves to eat him. Then, the enchantress shows up and saves him, just for her to leave him in town to get thrown into what I can only assume was the asylum. I’m just going to let that logic sink in.

Belle watching her mother’s death; That was unnecessary and did nothing but elongate the movie negatively. It wasn’t even really that clear, and contributed nothing to the actual story. It was just far too depressing.

The fight in the castle. It wasn’t bad. It had a few good moments in it, but the enchantress took way too long. By this point, I was begging her to get on with it so I could go to bed.

The final scene. It was fine. It was comparable to the original movie.

Final notes:
They destroyed so many things that it was almost a whole different film. If it weren’t titled ‘Beauty & the Beast,’ it may have been good cinematography. They did not do the original movie justice.

I understand that this was not intended to be an exact copy, but so many elements were such complete perversions of the original that the nostalgic feeling that may have been entwined in this picture was non-existent.

This was not Beauty & the Beast. This is was Stockholm warped into something pseudo-wonderful to distract viewers from everything that is wrong with it.

Oh, and the Beast isn’t supposed to know how to read, by the way.

That was fun. I’m going to start writing more reviews.

Feel free to yell at me.

Graduation Bell Blues

My graduation is exactly two months away. I am exactly eight weeks from receiving a Masters Degree in Applied Psychology from New York University at Yankees Stadium. I have ordered commencement ceremony tickets, a cap and gown, and even a grad sweatshirt. I had been over the moon since the moment I applied for graduation.

But lately, things have been out of focus. I can’t see a happy picture perfect moment on May 16th. I don’t feel a sense of excitement at starting my life. I’m starting to question whether I should be proud of any of this.

I jumped into grad school a year after graduating from undergrad. I gave up my hopes for a writing career after just one year, and then I dropped the ball and went to NYU. I gave up. It wasn’t working, and I had this amazing opportunity at an amazing school that I never thought I could possibly get into. I should be happier. I should be excited.

But I’m not.

With a job around the corner and the next couple years already set for me, I’m starting to question whether I really wanted this, or if I just ran away to a sure thing. Is this going to make me happy, or am I playing it safe because I’m too much of a bitch to take a risk?

What would have happened if I had really stuck it out? If I had just taken a real chance and worked for it?

The fact of the matter is, I have never had real confidence in my writing abilities. I have always felt that the people around me praised my writing because they cared about me. They built me up because it was my passion, and they wanted to support me. I wasn’t really talented. I was mediocre at best. I wasn’t good enough to be a writer.

Maybe I would have never made it, and I would have been nothing, in the end. Maybe I would have been wasting my time trying. Maybe I would have become a complete failure for the rest of my life.

But now, I’ll never know. Now, I’m going to be something I never really wanted to be. Now, I take a job I don’t like, get married to someone I can’t love, have children I can’t be honest with, and grow old knowing that I have spent my entire life working on nothing.

Now, I’m the loser who chose to settle, and there’s no coming back from that.