*Note: This article strictly reviews the 2017 film as an indpendent work. I will admit that the only time I have seen the original movie, I was not paying attention. That said, here are my thoughts on the modernized classic. Emma Watson portrayed Belle as a believable and relatable character. The modern Belle is still a bookish outcast, but she now rushes to save the day and help her father invent various things. Gaston is admittedly handsome, with a good voice, but he’s the ultimate playboy. Even the Beast is attractive in both human and beast form. But great characters need a great soundtrack, and this movie delivers. Stars like Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Audra MacDonald (Madame de Garderobe), and Ewan McGregor (Lumière) lend their vocals to the show. “Be Our Guest” is well-done, theatrical and I assume the lyrics are all accurate. I nearly cried during the title number. Also, the Beast’s solo number is heartbreakingly beautiful. Belle and the Beast develop an entertaining rapport after she nurses him back to health. The scene in the Paris attic is intriguing, although I wonder if it was in the original movie. But the real star of the show is the set and scenery. From the realism of the forests to the nuances in costume, the production design is spectacular, and could be a character of its own. Overall, 10/10 for an engaging and believable story, a heartwarming antihero, and another amazing score. Will for sure go see again at some point
Aside: the new Dolby theater at AMC Rosedale 14 is amazing! The seats are recliners and the sound quality is awesome!