I've watched Beauty and the beast and I loved this movie. It was great and I thinks the movie has been underrated by many movie reviewers from my country. Here's my review of it. PS! It includes a few spoilers.
The visual effects was wonderful and it was much easier to be engaged in the magically adventure in the live action version. The animated one can't beat this one. It's more believable with alive humans than animated characters and therefor I gets a more emotional connection with them. The CGI made the beast and his servants who's in-animated objects looking alive. The producers even gave them the ability to blink and do other movement in a realistic way.
It was many beautiful scenes with impressive details and the costume impressed me as well. The scenes reflected the mood in the movie very well in addition to give us a idea which relationship and which state the characters were in. When the enchantress broke the curse, the castle and the environment changed drastically like the characters' appearance.
The plot is quite similar to the animated movie and I thought it was good they mostly was stuck to the original. There's only a few changes. Bell's father is an artist instead of being an inventor and Belle is the inventor. Another major change is the depth in the movie which I liked. We gets the backstory to Belle's and the beast's parents. The movie explains what happen to Belle's mother and why the beast doesn't have parents anymore. The movie also answered other unanswered questions I had from the animated version. We gets to know why the village doesn't know about the beast's castle and more about the prince's life before he became a beast. But the enchantress paradox are still unanswered. In some versions the beast was an 11-years old when he was turned and I've questioned the enchantress' hero status. Seems more like a villain, and why should a child let a stranger entering in the first place? But the prince seemed like he was in his 20's in this movie when visited and couldn't be younger than 18.
Behind the scenes photo of the village in the movie. I couldn't find another photo of the village.
Actors & characters
I thinks Emma Watson is underrated in the Belle role. How she portraying the character is fine and I was positively surprised over her singing. She singed much better than what I expected.
I liked the cute side of Belle that Emma portrayed. But also the feministic, bookworm, brave and intelligent side of her. The sides of her that some calls "flawed" didn't bother me and it's a human she portrays. She delivers the emotional parts well as well and is a sympathetically character. I liked the scenes where she did her laundry, learned a little girl to read, her arguing with the beast and that she stood up for herself. Since she had the ability to speak for herself and had some independence, I don't think she had the Stockholm syndrome.
The other actors did a good job as well. Luke Evans managed to portray Gaston as an handsome, but a narcissistic egoist man, and the actor who played the prince did the emotional and the dynamic in the character well. "Lumiere" nailed the French accent and the hilarious personality like the animated version of him. In short, everybody did it good. But when the beast transformed back to the human form, he wasn't as I imagined him. I expected the prince to be handsomer and not like a plain average guy. It wasn't a big disappointment, just not what I expected.
The prince in human form.
I thinks the diversity is positive in one way, but I was skeptical to it too. It has nothing to do with I'm against the actors or the writers, just that I wants it to be more convincing since it's the 18th century. Firstly I'm going to point out what I'm happy with.
It's nice they includes everyone. In humanity it's a lot of diversity. I admit I liked the Leouf twist a bit even though it's not very historically correct. It made the movie a bit different than the original and a surprising twist is fun. In addition Disney hasn't had so many gay characters before and it's nice to see them progressing. But putting the gay part in a movie about modern time would maybe be more suitable since most European countries are more progressing today.
Another thing that's historically incorrect is the amount of non-European looking people. There were a few black and Asian people in the 18th century's Europe, but it was very rare. In the movie it was too many non-whites. It wouldn't be total unrealistic to have one or two, but having as many as they had in the movie is unrealistic. The movie is a fairy tale and many magically stuffs happens, so I'm fully aware that the movie aren't supposed to be realistic. But I just wanted to point it out anyway. Being progressing and all that stuffs is important, but I do also appreciate some realism. Hopes you sees my point and not thinking I'm a racist.