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
When insurance claims go wrong

When insurance claims go wrong

Be mindful of what you're disclosing at the time you take out a policy.

'Scrubbing' the atmosphere and other high-tech climate friendly innovations

'Scrubbing' the atmosphere and other high-tech climate friendly innovations

Data ssystems use a great deal of energy and tech providers must start reducing emissions.

How is 'steely' Pravin Gordhan coping under pressure from detractors?

How is 'steely' Pravin Gordhan coping under pressure from detractors?

Pravin Gordhan, the minister of public enterprises, wants to be left alone to do his job.

Naspers plans to sell shares in Prosus - will it decrease the Tencent gap?

Naspers plans to sell shares in Prosus - will it decrease the Tencent gap?

Naspers plans to sell about 22 million shares in Prosus - will it decrease the Tencent gap?

Davos 2020:  How well did Team South Africa pitch today?

Davos 2020: How well did Team South Africa pitch today?

Day two of Davos, where business heavyweights are attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Callers detail how Northview High School learner died at Nyathi lodge in 1999

Callers detail how Northview High School learner died at Nyathi lodge in 1999

Lesego and Boitumelo detail in graphic detail how their schoolmate Portia died at the lodge while on a school trip.

Telkom meets unions over mass retrenchments

Telkom meets unions over mass retrenchments

Solidarity strategic specialist Morné Malan says the process is still continuing and very little progress has been made.

Two primary school pupils dead after truck crashes into wall

Two primary school pupils dead after truck crashes into wall

Officials said that a truck delivering food items at the school crashed into the wall.

Eskom appoints critic Sikonathi Mantshantsha as new spokesperson

Eskom appoints critic Sikonathi Mantshantsha as new spokesperson

Mantshantsha replaced Khulu Phasiwe who resigned in April last year from the embattled power utility.

Western Cape top judge accuses her boss John Hlope of assault, misconduct

Western Cape top judge accuses her boss John Hlope of assault, misconduct

EWN reporter Jason Felix gives insight on what this public spat between the two officials is all about.