‘Tale as old as time, true as it can be
barely even friends, then somebody bends
Once upon a time. In that long ago day. In a land far far away.
The beginning of fairy tales always prepare your mind for a great adventure. There are princes and princesses, kings and queens, heroes and villains, and fairy godmothers and evil step sisters. There are stories of good defeating evil, of magic and of wonder, and of love and fairness. Fairy tales are for the dreamers, none more so than Beauty and the Beast.
As far as being a dreamer goes, there’s no time better than the present to embrace it. We need now, more than ever, to believe in magic. We need to embrace what makes us unique, to allow love into our lives with the notion that it’s not always going to be what we expect. We need to be inspired.
When a girl, from a tiny village, dares to be more than what people desire her to be, when she dreams of more than what she sees, and when she seeks adventure in the great wide somewhere – Belle is truly born. Within Belle, the dreamer in all of us grows. As children, we looked at Belle as a hero. Not just because of her bravery and not just because she was selfless – but because she dared to go against the grain.
The animated classic was an instant fan favorite, so when the live-action remake was announced, it seemed like a painful waiting game until the premiere. We saw the film on its preview day, Thursday, where it raked in 16.5 million dollars, and even got the collector popcorn tin and cup to have as keepsakes.
When any film is remade, there are skeptics. The skeptics who said this film wouldn’t live up to their expectations were right – it surpassed them.
From the opening scene to the closing one, you feel like you’re living with a little bit of magic, just by being in the theater. There is a sense of nostalgia from fellow audience members, an adoration for the storyline that shows that love is the most important thing there is, and a whimsical feeling as the characters take on new life. It’s not just the film that touches you, it’s the experience.
Emma Watson plays Belle perfectly, her personality shines as she takes on the role of one of Disney’s most well-loved characters. The entire cast couldn’t have been put together any better. They truly gave their all to learning their characters inside and out, it was evident in each scene. Gaston was truly self-indulgent and narcissistic. Belle’s father was caring and protective, a bit lost without the love of his life, but bright in a way that made him hopeful. The Beast was rough around the edges, but in moments where his heart was soft, he embraced the beauty of the vulnerability required to give his character depth.
LeFou was played with more zest than we saw in him during the animated version, and for that ‘big gay moment’ – the entire audience ‘aww-ed’ and some even cheered – love was celebrated in this film. That was the takeaway.
As far as Chip and Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth and Lumiere, The Wardrobe and The Featherduster, and everyone else who made the castle alive; you could feel their emotions, both in good times and bad. The characters had a fierce loyalty to the Beast, believing that he could love and be loved. When the petals of the rose began to fall, and it looked like their happy ending was nothing more than a dream, they embraced what love and life they had. They never once turned on, or blamed the Beast – it was a sense of family, it was another facet of love.
There were moments in the film where you cheered, where you smiled, where you got chills, and even when you cried. Not all films can pull that type of emotion out in viewers, especially that many emotions, and still not be overwhelming. It’s a testament to the cast and the crew, the execution of the acting and the storytelling, and the magic that exists throughout.
In a way, Beauty and the Beast is the movie we didn’t know we needed, at least not in the way it touched us. We anticipated seeing the film and being big fans, we didn’t imagine we’d leave the theater feeling inspired as if we’d been part of the story ourselves.
So if you’re down on your luck, feeling misplaced, or if you just need a reminder that what’s meant to be will always find its way, go out and see Beauty and the Beast. It’ll awaken hope inside of you, and that’s the soul of everything.
‘Tale as old as time
song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast’