BEAUTY AND THE BEAST REVIEWED
“Beauty and the Beast” is a masterful film that has finally arrived in North America. Playing closer to the original story, the film revels in nailing a time perfectly. Belle’s father is in debt, after his fleet of ships has been lost. While traveling to recover one of the ships, Belle and her father stumbles upon The Beast’s castle. While Belle’s dad tries to loot the place, Belle wants a single rose for herself. Unfortunately, the Beast catches them and tries to kill her father.
Belle offers to stay with the Beast, so that her father might be spared. That’s when this adaptation struggles to find its feet. Sometimes, it wants to be the Disney version and make every other man into Gaston. Then, it wants you to view Cassel in the same light as Cocteau’s beast. The CG creatures and effects inside of the Castle were stunning for World Cinema. Still, the tone was all over the place.
Things like that can be forgiven when the film is such a visual treat. Gans has an incredible eye and he’s one of the few foreign directors that knows how to expertly use CG. However, I feel that a few more passes at the script could’ve polished this gem. The framing device adds nothing to the story. Plus, the acting is kinda skewed to the central characters. Every supporting player feels like they just got out of community theater.
Christophe Gans has done better and worse. That being said, this is probably the first Gans movie that my daughter will watch. If you’re a Cassel fan, you’ll find enough to enjoy about the film. However, I want to see this movie studied against other adaptations of the classic tale. Why do the same motifs keep getting hammered down? Fascinating stuff all around.
- 2.35:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track