“Beauty and the Beast,” or “Beneath Every Monster Is a Prince”


Well, not every monster, but definitely the one in this Disney classic.

“Beauty and the Beast,” directed by Bill Condon, written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Siliotopoulous, is a live-action/CGI remake of Disney’s 1991 animated film of the same name.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story,  Emma Watson plays Belle, an independent young woman who loves literature and whose way of thinking greatly differs from that of her traditional village, turning her into an outcast.

One day her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), stumbles across the castle of a fearsome Beast (Dan Stevens) and is taken prisoner. When Belle finds out, she agrees to live in the castle if the Beast releases her father. How could any Beast say no to this?

Of course, this being a fairy tale, nothing is the way it seems. The Beast is actually a Prince, who’s arrogance pissed off the enchantress, Agathe (Hattie Morahan) so she turned him into a hideous looking creature who definitely wouldn’t make the cover of GQ.

The members of the Prince’s castle didn’t fare any better. His valet, Lumere, (Ewan McGregor) has been turned into a candelabra;  Coswoth, (Ian McKellen) the gruff, but  loyal butler has become a mantel clock. The maid, Plumette, (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is now strangely appropriately a feather duster and last but definitely not least, is the wonderful Emma Thompson, who plays Mrs Potts, the head of the kitchen, who has been turned in a teapot. Now what would a teapot be without a teacup?  Incomplete of course. Lucky for Mrs. P. her son, Chip (Nathan Mack) has been turned into a teacup..

At first Belle is terrified by her new found circumstances, but soon, due to the kindest of the Beast and the urging of his fabulous enchanted, magical staff, she finds herself drawn to  her captor.

Meanwhile, her father is  determined to save his daughter and hires the evil Gaston (Luke Evans) an arrogant, vain and barbaric former soldier turned hunter who seeks to marry Belle and is determined to hunt down the Beast by any means necessary.

By the way, Gaston’s flamboyant sidekick, LeFou, played by Josh Gad practically steals the film.

I’ve seen ‘Beauty and the Beast’ on Broadway,  as well as the animated version and I definitely can say that this one holds up to its predecessors.  The music, the singing, dancing, the great animation, will definitely put a very big smile on your face.

In the end, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is a beautiful love story which tells us that sometimes, you have to look beneath the surface of a person to see who they really are. The film opens in theaters, Friday, March 17, 2017.

Joan Alperin

About Joan Alperin

Joan was born in Brooklyn and spent many years working as an actress in New York City. Even though she traveled extensively, Joan couldn't imagine living anywhere else.. Well one day, she met someone at a party who regaled her with stories about living in L. A. specifically Topanga Canyon. A few weeks later she found herself on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. Joan immediately fell in love with the town and has been living here for the last twenty years and yes, she even made it to Topanga Canyon, where she now resides, surrounded by nature, deer, owls and all kinds of extraordinary alien creatures.. Joan continued acting, but for the last several years (besides reviewing plays and film) she has been writing screenplays. Joan was married to a filmmaker who created the cult classic films, (way before she knew him) Faces of Death. As a result of his huge following, they created a funny movie review show entitled Two Jews on Film, where Joan and her husband, John would review movies and rate them with bagels You can see their reviews by going to youtube.com/twojewsonfilm. Although it's now only one Jew - Joan is occasionally joined by her beautiful Pekingnese and Japanese Chin.
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