africa-new-bannerjpg

Africa Melane reviews: Latest Beauty and the Beast is both nostalgic and new

To book for Beauty and the Beast, click here:

CapeTalk Weekend Breakfast Host Africa Melane reviews the latest movie release of the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast.

This was always a big gamble. The 1991 animated musical fantasy film was a third attempt by Disney to adapt the French fairy tale of the same name by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.

The film was a worldwide success and etched in that generation’s consciousness that love is ultimately about showing one’s vulnerabilities.

It also challenged the widely held view that some prince charming would save the day for a damsel in distress. A challenge that Disney continues to reinforce, thankfully, in recent animated movies “Frozen” and “Moana”. More importantly, who would dare take on the eminently enchanting Angela Lansbury as the singing teapot? The answer is simply the genius of Emma Thompson, of course.

The gamble worked. Disney’s live action/digital hybrid ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is at once nostalgic and new. It is dazzling and charming, with some flaws. It has already grossed $1 billion worldwide.

Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast's hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside. Watson, already celebrated as a feminist pioneer for her portrayal of Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter “ movies, is both compassionate and intelligent as ‘Belle’. She devours books, happily challenging tradition and stereotyping.

Stevens is utterly bland in the human form (thankfully mostly left for the last few minutes of the movie). As the ‘Beast’, he is both objectionable and pleasant. He lives opulently in his misery and he is quite decadent in his sorrow.

Stanley Tucci and Audra McDonald as the excitable harpsichord and the operatic wardrobe, Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen as the suave candelabra and the anxious clock join Emma Thompson’s Mrs. Potts. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is the lissome feather duster. Young Nathan Mack is Chip, Mrs. Potts’s son.

Their singing and banter are so vivid and so natural that you almost take for granted that they appear to be mechanical objects clicking and whirling in physical space, sharing the frame with human characters.

This movie is also a celebration of music. You will find yourself humming: ‘A tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme’ for days after watching the movie. ‘Belle’ singing that she wants adventure will conjure up images of Julie Andrews. The dinner service would satisfy “Downton Abbey’s” Mr. Carson and it manages to celebrate Broadway and West End.

This film is a spectacle. And perhaps, therein lies its flaws. The flourishes that are so arresting in the movie hide the question of relevance. I left wondering whether Bill Condon had done enough to justify the existence of the movie.

‘Beauty and the Beast’ will bring back a flood of memories. But, will it be memorable?

Director: Bill Condon Writers: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos Stars: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw Running time: 02h09


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
[WATCH] Teen shoved off bridge by pal into river

[WATCH] Teen shoved off bridge by pal into river

A Washington teenager was badly hurt when her friend pushed her off the bridge after she said she didn't want to jump.

John Maytham's Books: A stylish thriller and a man who moonlights as a superhero

John Maytham's Books: A stylish thriller and a man who moonlights as a superhero

John's 3 book picks for the week.

Young couple's cycling adventure ends in tragedy as Isis militants run them down

Young couple's cycling adventure ends in tragedy as Isis militants run them down

The couple were cycling around the world when they encountered tragedy on a mountain road in Tajikistan.

[VIDEO] Music icon Aretha Franklin dies

[VIDEO] Music icon Aretha Franklin dies

Music legend Aretha Franklin has died aged 76.

[WATCH] Joburg driver evades gun-wielding hijackers

[WATCH] Joburg driver evades gun-wielding hijackers

This video shows how this driver escapes a hijacking in what can be seen as either a courageous or a risky manoeuvre.

[WATCH] Open-air urinals installed in Paris, France cause public outrage

[WATCH] Open-air urinals installed in Paris, France cause public outrage

French officials have launched public urinals, one overlooking the Seine River, and people are not happy.

Popular articles
Land expropriation can succeed if no productive land is taken – Land Bank

Land expropriation can succeed if no productive land is taken – Land Bank

The process must also be corruption free, the bank said. Bruce Whitfield interviews Land Bank CEO TP Nchocho.

'Almost alcoholics' - the blurred lines between social drinking and alcoholism

'Almost alcoholics' - the blurred lines between social drinking and alcoholism

Sobriety advocate Janet Gourand explains the differences between the social drinker and an almost alcoholic.

[LISTEN] White callers debate privilege and response to apartheid

[LISTEN] White callers debate privilege and response to apartheid

Two white callers, Matt and Stephanie, disagreed on how white people should respond to apartheid as Eusebius McKaiser facilitated.

More than 30% of students go hungry

More than 30% of students go hungry

Dr Stephen Devereux says a large number of black students are more vulnerable than their white counterparts.

[WATCH] Safari that could have gone horribly wrong as buffalo charges vehicle

[WATCH] Safari that could have gone horribly wrong as buffalo charges vehicle

Khabazela shares some tweets, Facebook posts and videos that have gone viral.

Zondo Commission into state capture to start hearings today

Zondo Commission into state capture to start hearings today

Day 1 of the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture will officially begin on Monday.