Movie Review – The New Beauty and the Beast
By Rita Davidson
Wow, I’m sure you’ve heard all the hype? The boycott? I was asked to shed some light on the new Beauty and the Beast movie… So here is my review for concerned parents.
I tend to be suspicious when I hear the same story about a movie repeated over and over on blogs. When this movie scandal first came out I was disappointed and ready to throw in the towel too.
The original movie came out at a time when our oldest girl was just of that age…it was a strong memory for her and us. So when I had a unique opportunity to see the movie (that I thought I was boycotting) I thought it would be worthwhile.
Let me say, it was almost surprising. The movie followed the original Disney story very closely. That means that some cartoon scenes are very awkward in live person acting. It is hard to translate what was such a well-known cartoon story into live action, but I think it was successful. All the original songs, “Be our guest…” all there, very close to the original.
Emma Watson, I didn’t like at first for Belle, but as the movie got going I could see she was a good choice. I did find some of her attitudes were more of a rebel and instead of a strong character, a very delicate difference that was not carried over as well as it could have been but either way it is so subtle to be unimportant.
Gaston, played by Luke Evans (think Bard in The Hobbit) I didn’t think was as strong of an ugly character as it should have been. (I mean Gaston was truly foul wasn’t he?)
Josh Gad, played the ever-famous Le Fou. Now to properly compare this film I went ahead and watched the original cartoon version as well so I could compare characters. (If your kids haven’t seen the original start with that please). Le Fou came across as cheeeeeesy. Ohhhh so cheesy. You know that guy that gives you the creeps when you see him? Rightfully so in the cartoon as well as the live action LeFou acted like a buffoon, came across as sleazy and a different kind of dark than Gaston. Which was the real ‘bad guy’.
Now we come to the ‘controversy’ the well talked about “exclusively gay moment.” that the Internet is on fire about. I’ve seen reviews about it, and blogs about it and boycotts about it and priests talking about it. But I have to ask has ANYONE SEEN the movie???
Let’s look at this well known review from Pluggedin. (One of my favorite review places by the way.) http://www.pluggedin.ca/movie-reviews/beauty-and-the-beast-2017
Plugged In: “LeFou displays mannerisms and adoring looks at Gaston that clearly suggest he has same-sex attraction for his longtime friend.”
This statement is simply wrong- this scene does not “CLEARLY SUGGEST” he has same-sex attraction…. Yes, Le Fou has adoring looks at his friend, but, as in the cartoon, this was as his best-friend-puppy-dog attraction and could be left at that. (Unless someone stirs it into something else?)
Plugged In: “LeFou is obviously envious of Gaston’s female-focused attentions. LeFou frowns at fawning females and tells them, “It ain’t gonna happen,” when they try to get Gaston to notice their feminine attributes.”
Here again we have an over-assumption of Le Fou’s “envy”…. These females are the fawning females all overdone, vain and ugly and so his attitude could just as much be disgust with them.
Plugged In: “Another scene finds Gaston starring narcissistically into a mirror, telling himself, “I’m not done with you yet.” LeFou, watching from a distance, adds, “Me neither.””
Here again is a misrepresentation of this scene entirely. Yes, Gaston is staring at himself in a mirror talking narcissistically. I mean he loves himself that’s for sure! But LeFou is NOT watching from a distance when he says this. He is behind Gaston watching him talking and when Gaston walks away saying, “I’m not done with you yet.” And walks AWAY.
THEN LeFou walks up to the mirror looking at himself and says, “me neither”.
I’m not going to go over each misrepresentation here, but yes LeFou wraps his arms around Gaston while singing. He lifts his shirt to show a bite. He’s gross and cheesy yes, but he is a BAD GUY remember… this is a cheesy, character wrongly seen as “obviously” gay when it’s not so obvious.
What concerns me more is the people we depend on to weed our way through this de-Christian world. I think these small scenes were purposely blown up by “certain people” on both sides, for the publicity. You have to admit there is so much talk about this movie most of you have already boycotted it just from the petitions and articles. Right? But when I seen it today I had to wonder if any of these review places had actually SEEN the movie?
Do I think this movie should be boycotted? You will have to decide that. I hope not. My problem with boycotting a movie is there are some clearly important topics like sacrifice, family, love and HOPE at the center of this story, and so much more symbolism.
Like the ROSE…
Laetare Sunday is also called Rose Sunday because it is the Sunday that a rose was blessed in the Church. In the Beauty and the Beast story we see the main story surrounds a special rose that holds the key to the beast.
A rose is special because it resembles Christ. All of nature leads us back to Christ in one way or another. The beauty of a sunset, the smell of the rain…in a simple rose His cross is symbolized by the stem, His crown of thorns by the thorns, the Blood of Christ by the red petals and His wounds by the sweet smell. So the rose is the symbol of HOPE and in the movie Beauty and the Beast, the rose holds the HOPE the beast has to be returned to his human form.
The problem I see with boycotting it makes us Christians look like fools to the rest of the world.
The other problem I see is that we want to shelter our children so much from this wicked world, yet our children are growing up in this world. How else will we explain these difficult situations to our children if we sweep this under the rug the simplest resemblance of it in a movie? We are not arming our children for the upcoming battle. We will keep them naive and that is not the way to protect their innocence.
Yes, three men get dressed up in ribbons and women’s clothing at one time and run off screaming – one ends up smiling. At the very end LeFou and one of these crazed looking men in a dress, get paired up in a giant dance and in a crazy, dreamy way dance off the screen. It’s not as romantic as it sounds.
The point here is these “gay” individuals are not made out to be good guys, LeFou acts like a buffoon, admits to being illiterate, is cheesy and generally feels slimy. The fellow in a dress he is paired with at the end, is wild-eyed crazy looking. The gay community is not represented in a good light despite how much attentions these scenes seem to be getting in the press. This movie is not without it’s problems, but it surely is not a success because of the “exclusively gay moment’ that it has been blown up to be. These scenes are buffoonery just like in the original cartoon…but we are so hyper to keep out every evil we are taking the extreme side here and not letting these topics help us introduce these topics to our kids properly. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater so to speak…
This movie is not without it’s beauty, and this world needs so much more beauty. With it’s story of sacrifice and love, love for parents when Belle is so devoted to her father she sacrifices her life for his. Her love for the beast, that softens his hardened heart. There is even a sweet addition of the tender story of her mother in this version…oops spoiler alert! This is a LAVISH recreation of an older Disney cartoon (with no glaring immodesty!) At the very least review it before your family if you need to. I look forward to your questions or comments about this movie if you see it. Be sure to come back and leave me your comments here if you see it.
Rita xxo J
Rita is a Catholic wife, and mother of seven, with three autistic boys. Author, of “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” (2001) and speaker, she has a PASSION for making #realcatholicmodesty understood. She is a licensed Hairdresser, and Make Up Pro with a degree in Natural Health who enjoys essential oils & Jamberry Nail Wraps. She enjoys making people smile and sharing God’s love with anyone who will listen. After overcoming a stroke, disabilities, they lost everything in a devastating house fire that made them homeless for six months. She is determined to lead souls back to Christ by finding the #realcatholicbeauty in their lives by carrying their cross with JOY!
©Copyright 2017 Rita Davidson & Little Flowers Family Press All Rights Reserved.