La Belle et la Bête is such a beautiful movie with high production values that it could pass for one of these recent Hollywood blockbusters picking up all those old fairy tales and turning them into live-action movies, but in fact it's a high-end French movie, so unfortunately not as many people will get to see it. Which is a shame, because it really is candy for the eyes.
Although a good chunk of the movie is CGI, it really doesn't look like it, and most of the sets look real (unlike 'Maleficient', which also had beautiful imagery, but looked somewhat fake). The Beast's castle and surrounding gardens look magical, and the style reminded me a lot of 'Labyrinth'. The castle's interior decoration is so mesmerizing that it just makes you want to jump into the movie and explore it along with Belle. The music is also one of the movie's strong points, with melodies that really match the movie's beauty.
Unfortunately, as beautiful and magical the movie looks and sounds, it feels quite empty. The story is a lot closer to the original tale than the Disney version, with a darker tone, but the love story was put aside in favor of showing the movie's aesthetics. Although the movie slightly dwells into Belle's life and the Beast's past, neither character really feels developed, making it unbelievable that they would fall in love.
The movie strongly feels like a scene of connection is missing; one minute they're fighting, the next they're kissing, with absolutely no logic to their love story. Their love is never shown; you as the viewer don't see how they fall in love. A little extra 10 minutes to show their relation would have made all the difference. As it is, it makes no sense these two characters would be together. The Disney version did a better job at showing this.
Nonetheless, the movie is still worth a watch for the beautiful visuals if you like the original story; it goes deeper into certain aspects of it, but sadly the love story was lost somewhere along the way. Too bad, because this could have been better than anything Hollywood could have brought us, if only they had put a little more effort into building the two main characters.
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