By Sarit Bridell

Movie poster for the new Beauty and the Beast remake that just hit the big screen (photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures).

The long-awaited remake of the family favorite “Beauty and the Beast” hit the big screen this month, captivating viewers all around. “Beauty and the Beast” was one of this years most anticipated films and a family classic. With an all-star cast featuring Harry Potter’s Emma Watson, Star Wars cast member Ewan McGregor, and the music stylings of Ariana Grande and John Legend, this movie is a great watch.

The film’s all-star cast does not disappoint in the musical numbers and their ability to bring the timeless characters of the original “Beauty and the Beast” to life. Rotten Tomatoes rates “Beauty and the Beast” a 6.6/10 in 45.5 million in top box office sales. The “Beauty and the Beast” soundtrack has been recommended by the Billboard, iTunes and Spotify as a “must hear” soundtrack.

“Beauty and the Beast” is a classic and timeless tale for many reasons. Whether it be for Belle’s budding romance with the prince turned beast or the enchantment of the castle and its occupants, the new remake was able to capture this and bring it to the big screen. While this film is a classic Disney favorite and household name, it also has been the subject of much criticism from its first release and now the second. From the accusations of the movie glamorizing “Stockholm Syndrome” to its criticism for supporting the LGBTQ agenda no one can deny that “Beauty and the Beast” has made its presence known.

Emma Watson (2012)

Before taking on the role of the film’s lead Belle, Watson was most well-known playing the independent female role of Hermione in Harry Potter and also her feminism and political activism work in the United Kingdom and United States. Belle was not the first Disney princess role Watson had been offered to play. In the recent remake of Cinderella, Watson was also offered the role of the lead and turned it down due to the role being too “passive” according to The Guardian.

Due to her role in the feminism movement as well as her identification as a strong feminist, the question was posed as to why she would take on such a role as Belle. Watson responded to these questions defending the role of Belle as being different from roles such as Cinderella. In all of her recent interviews Watson has described Belle as the “heroine of the story” and a strong female role. Watson admitted to Vanity Fair that she took this role in order to convey a strong female icon in her portrayal of the Disney princess. Watson wanted to introduce independence and confidence to the character that she felt was lacking in many other Disney films.

One of the most noticeable changes to the film and Belle’s character was that she was no longer the inventor’s daughter, but an inventor herself, Watson told Glamour Magazine. It has long time been the elephant in the room that “Beauty and the Beast” supported “Stockholm Syndrome” which is a syndrome were captives begin to take on characteristics of their captors and develop feelings for them. Watson admitted that before taking the role she did a lot of research on the issue. Watson was quoted in Cosmopolitan Magazine explaining her take on the Beast and Belle’s relationship, “she has none of the characteristics of someone with ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ because she keeps her independence, she keeps her independence of mind. And I think there’s a very intentional switch where, in my mind, Belle decides to stay,” says Watson.

The remake of “Beauty and the Beast” has made an impact on the film industry and also added a new dimension to the classic Disney film. In the midst of the film’s controversy no one can argue that the soundtrack and artistic design of “Beauty and the Beast” is a masterpiece. Go see for yourself what the actors, critiques, and viewers are all talking about.

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