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
Read More
[WATCH] Johnny Clegg opens up about emotional 'The Crossing' video

[WATCH] Johnny Clegg opens up about emotional 'The Crossing' video

South African legend, musician Johnny Clegg talks about the moving recording of his track The Crossing by over 50 artists.

[LISTEN] Nasa releases first sounds of wind on Mars

[LISTEN] Nasa releases first sounds of wind on Mars

Nasa's InSight lander touched down on Mars on 26 November after a 6-month journey in space in order to study the planet.

[WATCH] Avengers: Endgame trailer is finally here and people are losing it

[WATCH] Avengers: Endgame trailer is finally here and people are losing it

People literally do not know how they can survive the wait until April when the movie will be released.

[LISTEN] Alex Boraine opens up about his work as former TRC chair

[LISTEN] Alex Boraine opens up about his work as former TRC chair

Pippa Green spoke to 13 of the former commissioners to find out how far we are as a country along the road of reconciliation.

Eusebius on black wealth 'The messenger does matter'

Eusebius on black wealth 'The messenger does matter'

Eusebius McKaiser says Johann Rupert omitted the contextual history of black deprivation and white wealth accumulation.

Premier Helen Zille explains housing plans for old Conradie Hospital site

Premier Helen Zille explains housing plans for old Conradie Hospital site

The site will be used as a multi-purpose development housing 1800 families in various types of housing.

Popular articles
10 best business books reviewed on The Money Show in 2018

10 best business books reviewed on The Money Show in 2018

Know someone who’d appreciate a business book for Christmas? These were the best ones of the year…

'The corrupt use anti-corruption campaigns to divert attention from themselves'

'The corrupt use anti-corruption campaigns to divert attention from themselves'

Political analyst Steven Friedman says corrupt people use anti-corruption campaigns to neutralise those fighting corruption.

ANCWL calls on the ANC to suspend Pule Mabe

ANCWL calls on the ANC to suspend Pule Mabe

ANC Women's League says Mabe must be suspended pending the outcome of a sexual harassment complaint lodged against him.

'Evidence is solid. Poor people’s money was used illegally. Shivambu benefitted'

'Evidence is solid. Poor people’s money was used illegally. Shivambu benefitted'

Ray White interviews Pauli van Wyk, an investigative journalist with Scorpio at Daily Maverick.

RMB and a paediatric surgeon from Baragwanath came together to save little lives

RMB and a paediatric surgeon from Baragwanath came together to save little lives

Ray White interviews Prof Jerome Loveland (Paediatric Surgery at Wits and Baragwanath) and Gareth Armstrong (Rand Merchant Bank).

ANC Spokesperson Pule Mabe accused of sexual harassment

ANC Spokesperson Pule Mabe accused of sexual harassment

In a letter seen by Eyewitness News a 26-year-old woman says Mabe wanted to have sex with her in exchange for a job as his PA.

[LISTEN] EFF's Floyd Shivambu was a beneficiary of stolen money - Pauli van Wyk

[LISTEN] EFF's Floyd Shivambu was a beneficiary of stolen money - Pauli van Wyk

Journalist Pauli van Wyk outlines how VBS approved Brian Shivambu’s R1. 46m home loan, with a little help from his brother.

[WATCH] Johnny Clegg opens up about emotional 'The Crossing' video

[WATCH] Johnny Clegg opens up about emotional 'The Crossing' video

South African legend, musician Johnny Clegg talks about the moving recording of his track The Crossing by over 50 artists.