‘Beauty and the Beast’ remake stars unoriginality, disappointment

@LaurenHalSan

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It’s a tale as old as time, and it has come back to the big screen in a live-action rendition. Since its March 17 release, “Beauty and the Beast” has made 462 million worldwide. The film scored a 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and in all honestly, it didn’t even deserve that score considering how truly underwhelming the film was.

The live-action remakes of “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Jungle Book,” have all managed to show new angles of the stories that Disney never explored in the original animated films. “Cinderella” managed to show us why the evil stepmother was so evil, and “Maleficent” basically wrote off the rape culture aspect of the film involving the prince to help show Maleficent and her love for Aurora. “The Jungle Book” all-in-all was visually astounding, and you can really see Mowgli’s perception of the jungle and all its inhabitants.

“Beauty and the Beast” attempted to do the same by showing Belle’s mother and explaining why the Beast was such a brat, but both felt fleeting, like they were just tossed into the script. Knowing about Belle’s mother isn’t essential to the story, it felt like more of an opportunity for Emma Watson to show off her crying skills. However, I can appreciate the explanation behind the Beast being such a dirtbag because of his father, especially since it was never explained in the original.

Watson’s voice, along with many others, lacked depth and emotion, but casting Ewan McGregor as Lumiere was inspiring as he managed to perform the only satisfying song in the film, “Be Our Guest.” He and Sir Ian McKellen (Cogsworth) were the only redeeming factors of the film — I only wish the “gay moment” involved the two of them.

Which brings us to the film’s last offense, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Disney’s first official gay character. Disney has been dragging its feet when it comes to representation for the LGBTQ  community. But they decided to make the first canonically gay character an antagonist, and someone who’s name literally translates to “the fool” or “the crazy one.”

I do appreciate them not making Le Fou overly flamboyant for the sake of comedic relief and instead making him more morally sound.  The fact that he turned away from being an antagonist is also somewhat of a relief.  However, the “gay moment” so many people were waiting on lasted for a millisecond at most. Surprise, surprise, Disney isn’t as inclusive as we all would like to think, and their attempt at gay representation was lazy.

The fact of the matter is that “Beauty and the Beast” didn’t need a live-action remake. The only gray area of the story was why Beast was such a jerk in the film. They didn’t approach the story from a new angle, and they didn’t make it as entertaining as the original. Overall, this was obviously a cash grab, and we all fell for it for nostalgia’s sake. Was it really worth it to watch Watson struggle to hold a single note?