This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Maciej’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Because this movie is already a waste of time, I'm not gonna write my notes in a coherent form, let alone a proper review, so here they are just in a list form:
* There is a surprising number of Black people in this 18th century French village... and only one actual French person. LATER: No, wait, that was Ewan McGregor.
* We meet Belle in her stroll through the village and it already makes me go back to the 1992 animated original, because I can't remember that being so... silly. LATER: Maybe it was? Maybe all those song and dance scenes were equally silly, but you forgive an animation more? Maybe that's the point of ANIMATION? And if so, there is NO POINT in making it live action?
* Speaking of live action... so much CGI and green screen. And the CGI is abysmal. The design of all "live action" living items is just butt ugly.
* Speaking of butt ugly... the Beast is actually not that. He's handsome. He's not supposed to be handsome, remember? Sure, he has facial hair and horns, but that's just Hollywood-ugly: the terrible CGI and male equivalent of glasses and ponytail in a high school drama.
* And going back to Belle... poor, poor Emma Watson. I don't know if she's returned to her days of being a bad actress from early Harry Potter movies (acting mostly with excessive exhales and eyebrow movement) or if she's just terribly directed by Bill Condon. I could excuse it when she only has to react to nothing in CGI-heavy scenes ("Be Our Guest" among others), but when she's supposed to act against other human actors (fending off Gaston's advances in the beginning) she's just as wooden.
* This movie is schizophrenic. On one hand because they've lost the conventionality of animation they try to make the dance scenes more down to earth, but then they pump up scenes between, adding a lot of "movement porn", that is, movement for the sake of movement but with no rhythm or reason aside than induce ADHD in children. And they added unnecessary backstories everywhere: again, I will have to go back to 1992 original to check if it was still good even without us knowing what exactly happened to Belle's and Beast's moms or about Beast's daddy issues.
* What's with the prolonged fakeout sad ending with the curse fulfilled and the castle dying down? I'm gonna spoil it because fuck this movie: the enchantress returns at the very end and only lifts the curse when she both hears Belle saying "I love you" and sees her kissing the Beast. So, it's a very specific curse that can be lifted only with a kiss in three copies and specific words uttered in a specified order? That enchantress is a real bureaucrat.
* While we're on that, the enchantress seemingly spent a lot of effort on a huge curse for the whole castle, everyone inhabiting it and also a vast area around it, sending it to endless winter, for what? Just one dickhead young prince? What's the point of all that? What was she trying to accomplish? In 1992 original she came to the castle, got sent away, cast the curse and then fucked off, like a real witch from the gypsy stories (compare: Stephen King's "Thinner"), but here instead of going on to test other young princes in other castles she hung around... what for?
* Actually, what's up with the endless winter anyway? If it's just a matter of moving a little further away to get to summer, why didn't the CGI wolves just move to where it's nicer and easier to get food?
* Time is generally strange in this movie: how much time did the castle spend under the curse? Was it years? Decades? How old is the Beast? How old was he when the curse was cast? And did Belle spend in the castle two days? In the original it was kinda part of the charm that you didn't really know if it was days or months that Belle lived and fell in love with the Beast. Here it's pretty specific: a lot happened on day one (up to Belle's attempted escape and Gaston tying her dad to a tree) and the rest happened on day two. Or did I miss something?
* Who the hell is this movie even made for??? Not for kids, as it's long (129 minutes? Seriously?) and full of unnecessary backstories, dark and violent at the end, ADHD inducing in the dance scenes and sometimes between them, but also not for the crowd nostalgic for the 1992 original, because who of those would actually like it?
* A cherry on the top: this whole fucking movie is all orange and blue. Every. Frame. Of. It.
The only fun thing in the whole movie: how the wardrobe fends off attack of three armed men. She force-dresses them in lady clothing, which made me roll my eyes at first ("oh, so for men being dressed in women's clothing is so terrible that they are instantly defeated?") but the delighted reaction to that of one of them is just too adorable to get mad.
And yes, there is a first openly gay character in this movie, and he is depicted horribly, but this just gives me a tiny speck of hope that Disney can turn out to be ballsy enough for gay Elsa in "Frozen 2"... #fingerscrossed