My first point, of course, is that the library is even better than I imagined it would be! In fact, everything was better than I expected it to be. Emma Watson was, as expected, wonderful as Belle, the rest of the casting was superb, and of course the story itself is classic. What surprised me was the music. Beauty and the Beast is a full blown musical, complete with choreographed chorus numbers and improbable duets, and as a rule musicals are not my thing. I struggle to let go of reality and accept that in this world, spontaneous singing is kind of the done thing. If I’m honest, I don’t know why this is any different.
Somehow it was though. Maybe it was the fact that this film is my childhood, everything I remember, only better. The words were familiar, the songs like old friends, the characters bolder and more beautiful that when I was six.
My favourite scene, by far, was the ballroom scene. It was an exact replica of the scene I knew, and it was at that moment that I started to cry. After that, I didn’t stop. I can’t really explain why it was so perfect without repeating what I have already said. My childhood came to life yesterday.
And my favourite character was the one guy everyone loves to hate. Gaston is the kind of guy you would call a bastard if you didn’t know he’d probably take it as a complement, and I have to admit that I thought Luke Evans played him to perfection. Obviously it’s a bit awkward, because I hate Gaston while being mildly in love with Luke Evans, but I honestly think that he is one of the characters who developed most from what they were in the original. I mean, sure, he’s still a horrible person, but you can see that he really thinks he’s the hero. Gaston wants to rescue the rustic damsel in distress from her eccentric father and a dangerous monster, and if he gets to be loved by the world, then that’s just an extra perk. Yes, he should have stopped, yes, he’s probably more monstrous than the beast, but he’s the hero in his own story, and maybe that’s all that matters. He’s irredeemable, we all hate him, but is there anyone we would rather have as the villain?
There were new elements, new songs, new characters, new intricacies to discover, but at the same time it was curiously unchanged. And let’s face it: you know it’s been done to perfection when for a moment you really worry that it’s not going to be okay.