Happy Good Friday! Hope that’s the correct salutation for the season? Anyway, this weekend focus is on the latest remake of the film, Beauty and the Beast. We all know the classic tale of the beautiful girl that reversed the spell that turned a man into a beast. In just ten days, the remake became the highest-grossing live-action musical of all time, beating the nine-year-old record held by Mamma Mia! It is currently the third biggest musical ever, behind Disney’s Frozen and The Lion King. The film has also being described as a global phenomenon, with its earning of a total of $357 million over its four-day opening weekend from 56 markets. It has a current gross of $976 million. Wow, right!
The film is a 2017, American musical romantic fantasy, a live-action/CGI-animated, remake of the 1991 animated film of the same name, from an adaptation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont‘s eighteenth-century fairy tale. The film was directed by Bill Condon from a screenplay written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos, and co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Mandeville Films.
The film stars an ensemble cast that includes Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as beauty and beast characters with Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson in supporting roles.
When released in 1991, Beauty and the Beast marked a turning point for Walt Disney Pictures by appealing to millions of fans with its Oscar-winning musical score by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken. For the latest remake, Condon decided to draw inspiration from the old film, with the intention of making it as a “straight-forward, live-action, large-budget movie musical”.
Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson, singers of the original 1991 Beauty and the Beast duet song (I loved that song), performed one of the four new original songs in the film “How Does a Moment Last Forever“. The film also features a remake of the 1991 original song Beauty and the Beast recorded as a duet by Ariana Grande and John Legend . The music video for Grande and Legend’s Beauty and the Beast song on Disney’s Freeform television network has attained over 60 million video views on the Vevo video hosting service.
The 2017 remake is the most expensive film ever made with a production budget of $160 million. It has the second biggest March global opening, behind only Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the thirteenth-biggest worldwide opening ever and the seventh-biggest for Disney. In the United States and Canada, it topped Fandango‘s pre-sales and became the fastest-selling family film in the company’s history, surpassing the entire lifetime total of the original film in just six days. Analysts believe that the film has a shot of passing $1 billion worldwide from theatrical earnings.
I must say it comes as a kind of surprise. Not that I didn’t believe in its commercial value (I mean who doesn’t love a classic fairy tale). But Beauty and the Beast is one tale that has being told a million times (figuratively), so what new element could the producers infuse to topple box office sales. Well, I was proven wrong.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 71% based on 263 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10, the consensus being “With an enchanting cast, beautifully crafted songs, and a painterly eye for detail, Beauty and the Beast offers a faithful yet fresh retelling that honors its beloved source material.”
Some critics were of the opinion that the film was playing like superhero movies amongst women. I have to agree, with the huge turnout of women I saw at the cinema when I went to see it. And since they could watch with their kids, it meant huge sales in that demographic as well.
Conversely, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune said the adaptation got lost in translation, writing, “The movie takes our knowledge and our interest in the material for granted. It zips from one number to another, throwing a ton of frenetically edited eye candy at the screen, charmlessly.” Not sure I agree with that.
The film has managed to stir up controversies with LeFou (Josh Gad) being given a “gay moment” by director Bill Condon when he winks at another man during the song “Gaston“. The film’s ending also features LeFou briefly waltzing with Stanley, one of Gaston’s friends. I also noted that beast’s servant turned into a wardrobe trussed up three male villagers by dressing them up as women during the fight in the castle and one of them looked pleased with the transformation.
In response Condon stated during an interview with Vulture.com, “I’m sort of sick of this. It’s such a teeny thing, and it’s been overblown.” And goes on to add that “Beauty and the Beast is a celebration of everybody’s individuality, interracial couples and that’s what’s exciting about it”. GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis praised the move stating, “It is a small moment in the film, but it is a huge leap forward for the film industry.”
In response Jollyhood says we too are sick of it! Must Hollywood try to pervert everything with their gay nonsense, including our precious childhood films? (See post Rumour Has It) FYI, no one wants to see guys or women making out in fairy tales! Capisce!
In Russia, Henagar, Alabama, Kuwait, Malaysia there have agitations to have the film banned or the “gay moment” scene cut. There were also a number of boycotts against the film. A call to boycott on LifePetitions received over 129,000 signatures, while the American Family Association featured a petition to boycott with over 50,000 signers. In Nigeria we remain oblivious to any “sub plot” with no agitations from our Film and Video Censors Board or any quarters. I guess books are not the only medium after all to hide things from the black man *lips sealed*
Beauty and the Beast still has the underlying message of looking beyond the outside to seeing the true character within, of unconditional love, sacrifice and courage. But in view of using the film to spread their LGBT agenda, I’m going to have to pass on putting it on the must watch list. It’s a matter of principle, with moi being anti-LGBT. It makes me sad because I have and I’m sure a lot of folks as well have been looking forward to this remake of the film.
No worries guys, there are still other movies showing to lift our festive spirits. Just don’t forget the reason for the whole celebration as you have fun during the holidays. And pleaseeee stop with the hate for Jollyhood’s Top Ten Superhero Films. The word boldly outlined being “Jollyhood“. Which means its “MY” Top Ten list. Again “MY” is the operative word. Lol! Remember you’re free to contradict moi by sending in your list. Till then, enjoy the holidays. Happy Easter!