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Beauty and the Beast

Tracey Fox


4 Stars


BEAUTY and the Beast: everyone’s favourite Stockholm Syndrome fairy tale, where an innocent young girl, held captive by a big hairy beast, falls in love with her capture and becomes a blushing princess.

That’s all very cynical, I know, but with all the debate about feminism and women’s place in modern storytelling, what should have been a sweet live-action version of the original Disney cartoon, has sadly turned into a political platform for so many.

And gosh, the fact there is the very first openly gay scene in this version has some people foaming at the mouth, bursting to comment their two cents worth.

Yes, Belle is a bit of a stronger character this time, she reads a lot (and can be quite clever) but she is hardly some militant feminist trying to control the minds your impressionable young children.

Neither is she some fawning, doe-eyed creature, held against her will, who gives herself to the beast so easily.

She’s just a bit more confident than your average Disney princess, and she does know how to swing a big stick.

Disney has done well to try to please everyone here, with sumptuous detail and design, and fantastic big musical numbers where crockery and furniture dance for our pleasure.

And the detail in the beast’s facial expressions alone is enough to go see this film.

Beauty and the Beast really does deserve all the hype, but I would say not so much the hysteria.

It’s a brave new world, and fairy tales evolve with each generation, this new adaptation just adds a little dash of modern to the last version of the traditional tale.

Emma Watson does well as our updated Belle, a country girl who just wants a bit more excitement in her life other than feeding the chooks and doing laundry.

She’s a bit of a romantic, but she’s not interested in the big hunk of testosterone that is Gaston, the local mysogynist macho-man of the village who has a thing for women who repeatedly tell him ‘no’.

She’s more interested in the tragic love stories of Shakespeare, where prince charming will someday sweep her off her feet and they can recite poetry together ever after.

This film is charming, oh so charming, with plenty of big names to draw an audience such as Ewan McGregor, Kevin Kline, Ian McKellen and the ever delightful Emma Thompson.

With the world the way it is these days, so angry and easily offended, it is just so refreshing to have the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the kind of magic and music that only Disney knows how to bring to the big screen.

Leave your grievances for whatever you think is wrong with the world at the door, and go immerse yourself in some sweet eye-candy and gift yourself a couple of hours of wonder and majesty.

For Walt’s sake, just sit down and eat your popcorn!



About Tracey Fox

For the past nine years Tracey has been the smiling face at reception. She takes care of the classifieds and trades and services sections for the paper but she is also our reviewer. For the past eight years her movies, books, theatre and food reviews have entertained our readers. She loves the fact the Echo is a small paper and its staff have a genuine interest in local issues because they are locals. Tracey says it is great working at a paper she wants to read.

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