Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme…etcetera, etcetera…
BQB here with a review of Disney’s latest adaptation of a classic story about bestiality and Stockholm Syndrome.
3.5 readers, do you what the hallmark of a great salesman is?
The ability to sell you something you’ve already bought before.
Animation was once the last true bastion of creativity. If you could imagine it, animators could draw it, no matter how ludicrous. Today, that’s all changed thanks to CGI as it is now possible to make live action films that are just as ingenious as their animated counterparts.
And with live action remakes of their classic animated tales (Cinderella, Pete’s Dragon are just two recent ones that come to mind), Disney is making big bucks.
I presume that the cryogenically preserved head of Walt Disney, which still runs the company by the way, is laughing his way to the bank…or at least he would…if he weren’t just a head.
Anyway, at the outset, this movie is beautiful. Emma Watson shines in her first really big post Harry Potter role as Belle. Yes, I know she’s been in films since Harry but honestly, can you name any of them? Didn’t think so. Between this and The Circle with Tom Hanks, Emma is having a good year.
Kevin Kline, a blast from the 1980s past when he and his mustache were big and second only to Tom Selleck, is great as Belle’s father, Maurice.
Meanwhile, it’s a veritable Who’s Who of British celebrities playing French servants because our American minds here a British person speak and we instantly think, “European” and therefore it doesn’t matter if the actor is not French.
Highlights of the servant turned household item cast include Ian McKellan as Cogsworth, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts. German actress Audra McDonald brings her musical stylings to the singing wardrobe, Madame Garderobe while Stanley Tucci plays the piano (as in he literally plays the role of a piano), Maestro Cadenza.
Yes, it’s a tale as old as time, but new life is breathed to the animated cartoon. We’re given a little bit more of an understanding as to why Gaston is such a villain, as well as more of an explanation as to how a beautiful young woman falls in love with a giant frigging hairy sasquatch man.
Luke Evans captures Gaston in all of his “in love with himself” glory. Meanwhile, Josh Gad plays a super gay version of LeFou. Whereas in the animated cartoon, LeFou was just a sniveling toady to Gaston, this version of LeFou clearly wants access to Gaston’s butt.
What? What?! That’s not PC to say that? Sheesh. I can’t keep up with all the rules anymore.
I mean, obviously LeFou doesn’t come right out and ask for access to Gaston’s butt. However…the back rubs, the ear massages, the longing stares…LeFou wants Gaston’s butt.
This actually leads me to think maybe Walt Disney’s frozen head isn’t in charge anymore, as he probably would not approve of such a thing.
It’s an interesting development to say the least. As far as controversies go, this one kind of fizzles out. Gaston and LeFou don’t come right out and play a game of pitcher vs. catcher or anything, but it’s definitely a shot across the bow from Disney in which they are testing the waters to see whether or not all hell would break loose if they were to make a movie with a gay lead character.
As this is a not a political blog, I’m not going to touch that one. All I know is…LeFou wants Gaston’s butt.
Arguably, LeFou wanting Gaston’s butt is not even the most controversial part of this movie. After all, it is a story about a kidnapped woman who falls in love with her captor, a dog monster, thus promoting Stockholm Syndrome, abusive relationships, and bestiality.
Also, and I can’t say this enough, Gaston is the true hero, both in the animated version and the live action adaptation. I mean, all the dude wants to do is slay the Beast and knock boots with Belle. Belle gets kidnapped by a hairy dog monster and she doesn’t even thank the guy that’s trying to rescue her. The nerve of some people.
Still, the tale that is as old as time does hold up after all these years. Ultimately, the message is to not judge a book by its cover. A handsome prince who treats ugly people like crap gets his comeuppance by becoming a super ugly beast, suffers for years as an ugly beast, learning how all the ugly people must have felt when he treated them like crap. Eventually, he learns to not be such a jerk face and is rewarded with the love of a hot studious French chick.
Sadly, like most things in life, it falls apart after closer inspection. Are we really to believe that Belle would love the Beast if there wasn’t a chance that he might turn into a handsome Prince? Would Belle still love the Beast if he weren’t rich as all get out and the owner of a fat ass castle?
I mean, hell, women say they’d never touch an ugly guy all the time but then they usually do if the ugly guy has money. Something tells me Belle wouldn’t stick around if the Beast was destined to remain a Beast forever while living in a rent controlled inner city apartment or in a trailer park in the middle of nowhere.
But then again, I am cynical. Perhaps I am like the Beast, super jaded for no one will ever love me due to my super ugliness. Maybe we are all like the Beast in one way or the other.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Worth a trip to the theater. LeFou wants Gaston’s butt.