FYI, I watched this film almost two months ago although I wrote my notes well before this.
I had low expectations when we watched this, so I like it better than I expected or at least I liked it okay instead of hated it? My expectations for Cinderella barely existed. A friend pointed out that Cinderella was rather a surprise, that it wasn’t emphasized very much. When movies get tons of attention, I often don’t like them because I forget that I don’t have the same taste as other people and raise my standards unintentionally. I prefer to know little going into books and movies.
So, I had stacked my expectations (known and unknown) against Beauty and the Beast
~Not Cinderella 2015
~Not my favorite plot
~Star-studded (often means stars overshadow movie or character or change movie or aren’t really a good fit)
~A musical (I don’t dislike musicals; my favorite music is from musicals, but in terms of overall movie choice, I prefer a more developed story)
~Director of Twilight vs. Kenneth Branagh (no wonder Cinderella is so brilliant)
~My dissatisfaction with the casting and the suspicion that Emma Watson couldn’t sing, partially proven by movie clips
~The moral scandal (and yes, they did everything quite deliberately with the media focus)
What I liked
~Dan Steven’s voice.
~Evermore (I’ve listened to this so many times).
~Luke Evan’s voice (“Kill the Beast” is where his vocals really got me).
~Seeing Dan Steven’s facial expressions in the beast (that is so fascinating).
What I disliked aesthetically
~I preferred the bright, clear, sparkling, sunny visuals of Cinderella, and I prefer the greater depth in Cinderella that a non-musical allows.
~My favorite musical themes were cut short.
~I prefer the original version of “Beauty and the Beast.”
What I disliked in the plot
~In addition to the fact that a musical format doesn’t allow for much depth, this film had waaay too many plot lines and so none of them felt completed or deep. I always prefer simpler and deep to intricate and shallow (i.e. unfinished).
~The original movie had enough plot lines, this one added more and increased the old ones, so much so I felt that Belle and the Beast’s romance and the Beast’s transformation is eclipsed; both feel comparatively short or rushed, and I feel like they hardly get any attention at the end.
~Enough has been said on the moral issues that I won’t address it here except to state that besides the subplot being distraction, the immorality is also a distraction.
What I disliked about the casting and acting
~Star-studded casts often means stars overshadow movie or character or change movie or aren’t really a good fit and all three apply for Emma Watson in this; she overacts and cannot sing (you would think an excellent voice is essential for a role in a musical, but after seeing the movie versions of Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera, I wasn’t surprised).
~I love Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars, he is adorable, but he is not the Greco-Roman looking blond god-figure the animated version promised. He is sweet and candid looking, not the kind of handsome that can really pull off regal dignity and arrogance.
~I wasn’t happy with Luke Evans either, he is too old and not the fleshy, bold Gaston kind of handsome (I don’t think he handsome in this film at all), but I think he performed his role the best.