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
'Indications of accelerants used' as 18 carriages lost in morning Metrorail fire

'Indications of accelerants used' as 18 carriages lost in morning Metrorail fire

W Cape Metrorail's Riana Scott confirms two trains were initially on fire but soon spread to adjacent platforms.

Missed the branch tax filing deadline? Fear not, here's what you need to know

Missed the branch tax filing deadline? Fear not, here's what you need to know

Executive Head of Compliance at Sars Fareed Khan explains how you can proceed to become tax compliant online.

NSRI update: Second teen recovered after Sunday drowning at Rocklands Beach

NSRI update: Second teen recovered after Sunday drowning at Rocklands Beach

National Sea Rescue Institute's Craig Lambinon says there is an ongoing search operation for the 18-year-old who remains missing.

[VIDEO] Gate camera footage shows Julius Malema in altercation with soldier

[VIDEO] Gate camera footage shows Julius Malema in altercation with soldier

EFF's Malema and Ndlozi were in court for allegedly assaulting an officer during Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's funeral last year.

Which is SA's most fuel efficient car? Find out the results

Which is SA's most fuel efficient car? Find out the results

Women on Wheels editor Carrie-Ann Jane helped WesBank and FNB test 40 popular cars in SA to see how they really measure up.

Future of Africa Campuses: A convergance of ideas to share resources

Future of Africa Campuses: A convergance of ideas to share resources

The World of Answers podcast series brings you an episode that probes transforming the world through African research excellence.

Popular articles
Want to start a small business? Lessons from a successful serial entrepreneur...

Want to start a small business? Lessons from a successful serial entrepreneur...

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Nic Haralambous, founder (at the cost of R5000!) of funky sock company Nic Harry.

Considering emigration? Financial planner discusses the affordability of leaving

Considering emigration? Financial planner discusses the affordability of leaving

Can you afford to leave South Africa? Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Barry O'Mahony on what to consider before deciding.

'SAA’s collapse plays nicely into hands of a politically constrained Ramaphosa'

'SAA’s collapse plays nicely into hands of a politically constrained Ramaphosa'

After dithering for fear of spending political capital, SAA is now out of the President’s hands, says Pieter du Toit (News24).

There is no Ubuntu in how Khanya Cekeshe has been treated - Thuli Madonsela

There is no Ubuntu in how Khanya Cekeshe has been treated - Thuli Madonsela

Former public protector says the eight-year sentence was too harsh and it shouldn't matter that he was not a Wits student.

‘South Africans are getting poorer and poorer because of politics’

‘South Africans are getting poorer and poorer because of politics’

SAA is a classic example, says Isaah Mhlanga, Chief Economist at Alexander Forbes Investments.

[VIDEO] People in amusement park thrown off ride in Thailand goes viral

[VIDEO] People in amusement park thrown off ride in Thailand goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

How to make your first R1 million (after that it just becomes so much easier)

How to make your first R1 million (after that it just becomes so much easier)

Rich. Wealthy. Financially free... Call it what you will; the first million is how you get there. Warren Ingram on his book...