No one gives news like B. Reel,
Makes reviews like B. Reel,
No one gives a spoiler warning or two like B. Reel!
I’m especially good with EXPOSITING things!
My what a guy L. B. Reel!
I’ll be up front. I’m always anxiously optimistic with remakes.
I was especially anxious when I heard that one of my favorite Disney animated features, Beauty and the Beast, was getting a live action remake.
But let me say, I might actually like this version better than the animated one.
The set design was amazing, detailed, and very French. The acting was superb. The new songs are incredibly catchy. (My god I love Evermore.) Nearly every named character got a fantastic subplot.
By the way, all that controversy over Lefou being gay. It ended up being one of the best parts of the movie. Seriously, Lefou was the best in this film.
The point is go see it. Good 8 out of 10 movie.
However, what I want to talk about most in this review is what goes into adaptations such as this and why some fail while others succeed. For in some ways its even harder to adapt something a story than it is to make one from scratch.
With an adaptation, one had to take into account the existing fanbase for a franchise, if you want to be successful. Too often we’ve seen Hollywood take something that was popular and just throw it at some director to make a quick buck or two million. However, to be successful with a piece of media one must understand why people liked it to begin with.
So why did people like the animated Beauty and the Beast?
In my mind that comes down to the unique protagonists (Belle and Beast) who were neither flawless nor the most popular person, the music that was catchy but also had clever lyrics, and the intricate and very French set design.
Check, check, and double check on all those for the adaptation.
But that can’t be it. Simply recreating the entire movie would have been boring. So what do you do to make it unique while faithful.
Add stuff. Extremely carefully.
Add in a scene explaining what happened to Belle’s mother. Add details covering plot holes. Add subplots for almost every name character to make us care more. Add more consequences for the last petal falling from the rose. Add songs that fit the tone of the original songs.
Using a longer running time they take what worked in the original and added to it.
Certainly this is not one size fits all, but I feel this would improve many of the upcoming Disney movie remakes.
As a digital narrative, this adaptation contains a whole narrative in its controversy over the sexuality of Le Fou.
When the news was announced about that character the internet went aflame. Not just at the change itself, but how it would be implemented as Hollywood doesn’t always have the best track record of representation.
Whether this news was leaked or purposefully allowed out into the public I don’t know, but it certainly had an effect. While likely loosing some income due to some peoples prejudices against LGBT+ people and some more prudish theaters or countries refusing to show it, considering how the character’s sexuality ended up working into the story and due to people’s innate curiosity and love of Disney, there were undoubtedly enough people in seats at theaters to at least balance out any lost revenue,
That’s all for now, I bid you all adieu and hope you all Keep it Reel!