Pinoys cheer Beauty and The Beast

Yugel Losorata - The Philippine Star
Pinoys cheer Beauty and The Beast
The author’s son Ryde, who finds Gaston a funny character, poses with Filipino models for Beauty and the Beast (as the Prince) at the special film screening held at SM Megamall. The Disney live-action fairytale has raked in P541.67M in 11 days.

MANILA, Philippines - The live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic Beauty and The Beast could tame even the hardest-to-please Filipino spectators for its grandiose mix of music and visuals best experienced with 3D glasses. People who attended its recent screening at the IMAX Theater of SM Megamall couldn’t resist applauding to the musical numbers once their final notes and sequence are delivered. 

With his work on the high-budget flick based on the 1991 animation classic, director Bill Condon couldn’t be more right in saying that “musical numbers in movies don’t distract, they don’t interrupt, they deepen and help create meaning.”

Numbers featuring the songs Belle, Gaston and Be Our Guest were particularly standouts. 

Even without her iconic status as a major character in the Harry Potter film series, Emma Watson as Belle comes as a brilliant choice as she appears visually charming and vocally sweet. And of course, Luke Evans nails it perfectly playing Gaston, to think he’s openly gay in real life. 

By the time Beauty and The Beast song came in, sung good enough by Emma Thompson playing Mrs. Potts the teapot, people chose to keep the clapping to themselves, perhaps still glued to nursing the emotions running within that they let go of the gesture. 

Having opened in Philippine cinemas last March 16, moviegoers are now talking about the movie being a well-done “real” version of the cartoon that became the first animation to be nominated Best Picture in the Oscars. This one is certainly bound to get more titles on its sleeve than its instant reputation as “the most experience musical ever-made.” 

It’s unfortunate that it is riddled with controversy due to the “gay moment” featuring LeFou played by Josh Gad. Simply put, some people are overreacting to the homosexuality showcase surprise when it is obvious that the scene should just make people laugh instead of raising eyebrows, whether one is liberated or conservative. 

On a real positive note, it is tasteful that the filmmakers brought in the voice of Celine Dion to record How Does A Moment Last Forever. The movie’s soundtrack is as powerful as the empowered cinematic display of most of the scenes and she deserves a slot even after two decades and a half. 

Watson related, “Any time I hear music from Beauty and The Beast, it connects me with that childlike feeling that everything is going to be okay and that there’s hope in the world, and it just gives me this sense that everything’s fine.”

Re-viewing Disney’s Beauty and The Beast animation before watching this should surely make the experience more enticing. It’s really seeing those cartoon characters come to life even more. The attacking wolves scarier; the Beast more manly and dangerously attractive in his cursed form. 

Condon, director for Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2, Mr. Holmes and Kinsey had more than enough reason to feel that now is the right era for a live-action adaptation. He stated, “It is 25 years later and technology has caught up to the ideas that were introduced in the animated movie. Now it is possible, for the first time, to create a photo-real version of a talking teacup on a practical set in a completely realistic live action.” 

Beauty and The Beast also stars Dan Stevens as the angry beast hiding something from his palace’s west wing, and Kevin Kline as Maurice who, though less cuddly-looking than his animation version, fitted more daughter-loving natural depth of the role. Others are Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Hattie Morahan, Nathan Mack and Sir Ian McKellen.


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