The beauty and the Beast

For the Monday of Boxing Day, in prime time, Rai 1 offers, at 21:25, the live action of a great Disney classic. Beauty and the Beast, by Bill Condon, updates the themes and music of the 1991 animated film and in this version of the popular fairy tale, the protagonist Belle is the most charming girl in her village: she shines not only for her beauty, but also for her intelligence and originality of views. And she refuses the court of her handsome and overbearing fellow villager Gaston who oppresses Belle and her father. Lost in the woods on his return from a trip, Belle’s father will find refuge in a mysterious and luxurious castle, apparently uninhabited. In the garden the man picks a rose, which he had promised his daughter, and runs into the wrath of the Beast, a prince victim of a spell: to punish him for his pride, a fairy had transformed him years earlier into the monstrous creature. Belle’s father is imprisoned while the girl decides to leave the village to go and look for him: arrived at the castle, Belle offers to take her father’s place, and will remain there with the Beast, bringing grace and light among the stones of the manor. The spell could be dissolved, but in the meantime Gaston hasn’t resigned, and organizes his last assault. The great Disney classic acquires a special magic in its live action version, made in 2017 with no expense spared for the production and the cast, which consecrates Emma Watson in the firmament of Hollywood superstars, also fully revealing the young diva’s talent for the musical , in a role that has been compared, in grace and depth, to that of Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. The other protagonists of the film are no less, with Luke Evans who manages to enliven the granite figure of Gaston, Dan Stevens who generously lends himself to the double Prince/Beast interpretation and Kevin Kline, in the part of the affectionate father of Belle, a role that seems to have been sewn on him. But the castle contains other surprises, drawn from the upper floors of Hollywood, including Emma Thompson, Evan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen. The general quality of the film quickly made it a classic among the classics in the realm of Disney’s live action. Among other things, the overall quality of the songs stands out: the sequence in which the animated objects of the castle interpret the song Be Our Guest is one of the many moments not to be missed in one of the most important and ambitious films ever made by Disney .

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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