There’s honestly more romantic tension between the cocky Gaston (Luke Evans) and his pal LeFou (Josh Gad). With Gaston’s constant rejection of LeFou’s odd advances and LeFou’s questioning of why he continues to side with such a villain, there truly is something here that wasn’t there before. It may not amount to much, especially considering the overly hyped gay moment for LeFou that is the most timid of displays, but at least the movie is trying to inject some originality.
Cordon’s production is certainly beautiful and whimsical, despite being taken out of the magic for moments of addressing poverty and plagues, but it just doesn’t have that same energizing appeal of Disney’s previous incarnation. I know it’s unfair to compare this picture to the stellar animated classic, but what choice do I have? There are so many nostalgic callbacks and reminders of how great that film was that this live-action treatment plays more as a love letter than its own distinct production.
It’s not a terrible attempt at trying to recapture the magic. Heck, it may be the best live-action treatment of replicating the original. But did there really need to be a Beauty and the Beast redux when the original still holds up to this day? I’m sure kids will still get a kick out of this version if they’ve never seen this story before, but they’ll eventually get around to seeing the animated classic that features better music, emotion, character and even better use of dazzling computer animation. When compared to Disney’s previous live-action adaptations that managed to find something new and interesting to explore, this Beauty and the Beast has me craving for more adventure in the great wide somewhere.