No you’re not experiencing déjà vu, this is the same Beauty and The Beast (or La Belle et La Bête if you prefer the original French title) that we covered way back in 2013.
Not to be confused with the upcoming Disney remake starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, this is the French remake that was originally released in 2014 and that’s slowly been making its way around the world. It was released locally in May, somehow falling off all our radar, and will hit the US and UK later this year.
The official plot synopsis, should you need one for this classic fairy tale, is as follows:
After the wreck of his ships, a financially-ruined merchant (André Dussollier) exiles himself in the countryside with his six children. Among them is Belle (Léa Seydoux), his youngest daughter, a joyful girl full of grace. One day, during an arduous journey, the merchant stumbles across the magical domain of the Beast (Vincent Cassel), who sentences him to death for stealing a rose.
Feeling responsible for the terrible fate which has befallen her family, Belle decides to sacrifice herself and take her father’s place. At the Beast’s castle, it is not death that awaits Belle, but a strange life in which fantastical moments mingle with gaiety and melancholy. Every night, at dinner, Belle and the Beast sit down together.
They learn about each other, taming one another like two strangers who are total opposites. When she has to repulse his amorous advances, Belle tries to pierce the mysteries of the Beast and his domain. And when night falls, the Beast’s past is revealed to her bit by bit in her dreams. It is a tragic story, which tells her that this solitary and fearsome being was once a majestic prince. Armed with her courage, ignoring every danger, and opening her heart, Belle manages to release the Beast from his curse. And in doing so, she discovers true love.
There’s no denying the pure visual spectacle of this version, the backgrounds and scenery look amazing; where it falls a bit flat however is with CGI characters that don’t look nearly as good. Judging by the trailer the movie doesn’t look to be shying away from the darker aspects of the original story either, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.
What do you think?
Beauty and The Beast is due for release in the US on 23 September and in the UK on 6 November. Directed by Christophe Gans, it stars Vincent Cassel, Léa Seydoux & André Dussollier.
Last Updated: August 1, 2016