Saturday, 1 April 2017

The Gay Moment. Beauty And The Beast Review

I was so excited to see that Disney was making a live action version of one of my daughter's favorite movies. I thought they did an excellent job with Cinderella, but I was interested how they would bring characters like Lumiere (the candelabra) to life. I had also heard the great controversy about the "Gay Moment" included in the film. This didn't put me off going to see the movie with my 6 year old daughter, I think it's about time there is more representation of a wider range of people on screen especially in Disney movies. We don't censor these things from our child, men having been kissing girls in Disney movies since 1937 when Snow White came out and considering Snow White is said to have only been 14 I know what I have more of an issue with!

So here we are enjoying the movie, having a bit of a dance during our favorite songs. All the while I am waiting for this outward display of homosexuality, I thought maybe it's a kiss, a deceleration of love? But it never came. Not to me anyway. Now I read that it's meant to be a moment between LaFou and Gaston where it is all relieved that LaFou is really in love with Gaston. I didn't see it, what I did see was LaFou is obviously like a little brother. He wants to be exactly like Gaston, he sees him as the height of what it means to be masculine and that's what LaFou wants himself to be. Just the same impression as I got from the animated movie. What was also in the live action movie was LaFou finding himself, realising that he didn't need Gaston and that he was in his own way strong, loyal and learnt to follow his own values and sense of right and wrong rather than follow blindly what Gaston was telling him to do.

There were a few things I wasn't really a fan of in this new version, I really hate to pull hairs because it was a great movie but there were a few things I was a bit disappointed by. The singing was one of those. Particularly Emma Watson, her acting is great but her singing didn't hold up against Paige O'Hara's original. I know we probably shouldn't compare the two movies but one of the things Disney has always done well is their soundtracks and I don't think this movie was of the same standard. Another character I was also disappointed by was Mrs Potts, Angela Lansbury's version of 'Tale as old as time' is what Disney magic is all about and while I love Emma Thompson's work (Nanny McPhee is one of favourites) the voice just didn't give me those same goosebumps.

I also liked a lot more things in this version better than the animated movie. One of those was the relationship between Belle and her father, with this version it really showed how supportive of his daughter he was and how he empowered her to be the women she was even if she wasn't like everybody else in there tiny village. At one point telling her that she was a women far beyond her time and it was the villagers problem they didn't understand her and not the other way around.

The other aspect of this movie that I liked better was that it made the relationship between Belle and the Beast and the change between enemies and friends a lot more clear. It made it seem a lot less Stockholm-syndrome, obviously this can still be debated but this movie did show them making more of a meaningful friendship connection after she had escaped his captivity. Kind of showing that he let her go then they bonded as friends and she didn't fall in love with him when she was imprisoned by him.

 All in all I liked it, Dan Stevens (as Beast), Josh Gad (LaFou), Ian Mckellen (Cogsworth), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Feather duster) and Audra McDonald (The Wardrobe) were all standouts to me, their singing and acting were fantastic and really brought those characters to life for me.

What did you think of the movie? I will definitely watch it again and my daughter enjoyed it too, I will also say that it quite long and parts of it didn't quite move fast enough for her but by the end of it she was still singing and dancing along.

Robin xx


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