The comfort with a tale oft told is the feeling it creates when you see it. That very comfort can work against you when the film doesn’t offer it. This time round however, director Bill Condon has a heart warming experience to share with us.
Disney took a big risk with Emma Watson, the lead star with many illustrious voices around her, to carry such an expensive fairy tale on her petite shoulders. She does so with unassuming talent and grace. The canvas is large, the work is detailed and they have managed to recreate the feel of watching a stellar musical which, to our advantage, plays in cinemas across the world.
Dan Stevens as the beast is ‘U’ rated, I must admit. Disney made it so, so that children would warm up to him rather than be afraid. Great care has been taken to craft his look, his introduction, evolution and his revelation, all of which make him endearing.
The supporting characters are made with stunning CGI and voices to match. Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Audra McDonald and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are wonderful inhabitants of the castle. Kevin Kline, Luke Evans and Josh Gad provide the drama in the village.
The music is a delight to the ears and eyes, with the title track playing in your head much after the movie has finished. The other songs have been given equally aesthetic treatment just like the broadway or the animated versions, a spectacular vision and execution.
It has been very well received, and for good reason, as it combines technology and art to produce a modern day masterpiece.
Story telling is at its best by director Tom McCarthy in this evenly paced yet riveting film. An ensemble cast it may be, but you feel as if you are observing a real life story unfold in the office of the Boston Globe.
The era is recreated appropriately, for people who knew Boston and how it looked at the time, you feel transported back through the years. The way research was done, the mention of the World Wide Web, is proof how soon the world has progressed to its current state.
Performances are stable and dependable, whilst covering every aspect of a very sensitive and horrific reality. We see the sides of the survivor, the people fighting for them, those who want to keep it quiet, the people who support through silence and the perpetrators. Though humanity is very adept at closing its eyes and ignoring something wrong, this film awakens the sense of responsibility we all have towards justice.
Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci are superb in their various roles, amongst many others who play their parts with sincerity and strength. They have altered their body language and communicate nuances which don’t scream for attention, but demand it, purely through their simplicity.
The lesson out of it is very clear: TRUTH WILL OUT, Always. Watch to see a reality that is still happening everywhere. A subtle slap in the face.