Perhaps it is a critic’s job to analyse and nit-pick, but when it comes to popular choice, the audience clearly decides whether or not a movie is a success — by spending bucket loads of money to watch it. 

The latest version of Beauty and the Beast received the usual range of reviews. Some liked it, a few were lukewarm and others thought it was ghastly.

As a non-critic, I have to say it was a delightful production and I want to watch it again, even if it is feeding those Hollywood coffers.

Colourful, whimsical, romantic … a little bit of a feminism and a positive LGBT message peppered into the classic story — what’s not to like?

My knowledgeable colleague Tymon Smith said it wasn’t innovative and created simply as a money-spinner. (Read his full review.)

He added that “in the age of disenchantment the US public’s hunger for anything to take their minds off the real world has allowed the film to sprint to the top of the box office stakes”.

Well, he’s right — and who cares! South Africans are in similar need of light relief, and this Disney film delivers.

The movie stars Emma Watson as Belle, who is almost theatrical in her performance. She comes across as cute (not befuddled, pfft) and brings all the required tenacity to the role of a girl who is quite happy to go against the grain.

Gaston (Luke Evans) is suitably boorish and besotted sidekick Le Fou (Josh Gad) is hilarious. The beast (Dan Stevens) is adequately frightening, but with a hint of a doggie face for a bit of endearment.

But Smith is right about something else.

The animated film has been given “the enchanting real-people musical treatment under the stewardship of Bill Condon”.

This is not a negative, though.

It works because the movie has been given the Harry Potter treatment — where the expectations of your imagination are met and, in some cases, exceeded by the enchanting sets and costumes.

My viewing was enhanced by the Imax experience. I felt I could take my pick from the bread, flowers and array of other fresh produce at the Provencal market (foodies, look out for the gorgeous artichokes).

As for the talking furniture and housewares, the CGI-detail on characters such as Lumiere the candelabra (Ewan McGregor) and Cogsworth the clock (Ian McKellen) is simply wonderful.

Mrs Potts (Emma Thompson) and Chip (Nathan Mack) were a tad plain for animated china, but Chip’s antics make up for it.

WATCH the trailer for Beauty and the Beast


Overall, the movie creates that feeling of bubbling glee. There’s a heart-racing fight scene and moments of endearment and sorrow.

Is it worth watching? Well, so far people have collectively paid $454-million to see it. Some might see it twice.

‘Beauty and the Beast’ is on circuit now.

'Beauty and the Beast' movie review: HERE's what all the fuss is about by: Greezoo  published:


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