The story of Beauty and the Beast really is a “Tale as old as time,” yet it was brought back to life in the newly rendered modern version showing in theaters now.
To me, Beauty the Beast was the classic love story, the romantic film to watch on rainy days when I was little. This year, now much older with a love story of my own in the making, I spent a rainy afternoon at the Goodrich Quality Theaters Portage 16 IMAX watching Belle and Beast rekindle a love I have not seen since video cassette players were still sold in stores.
The new story is spot on to the Disney Cartoon, so we all knew how the story was going to play out, yet that didn’t stop my party and I from gushing with pleasure as we watched Belle and Beast sweep across the IMAX screen like we were there in the castle watching or jumping with surprise as the gun sounded as if it was shot off to the left of our seats.
The movie was truly set to life thanks to performances by Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (Beast), and Luke Evans (Gaston). Even through the voices of the household objects, Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts) and Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), the characters came alive through stories and songs that left the audience members humming along with them.
The characters were all lovely and familiar, portraying the cartoon faces we fell in love with years ago. Belle was sweet, gentle, and odd enough to make her the outcast with her father in the village. Instead of worrying about marriage, she keeps her eyes on the pages of her books, longing for the adventures she reads so often about. She finally finds her own adventure when she is trapped by the large, aggressive Beast, who begins to show his playful, caring, and slightly sarcastic side as his tough hide is hit with Belle’s kindness.
As the two fall in love, with the overjoyed house members looking hopefully on, Belle and Beast begin to realize their first impressions were wrong and it is what is inside that truly matters. Tears of sadness roll down the faces of the audience while we watch the battle between villagers and the house and Gaston and Beast. They quickly turn to tears of joy and laughter as Belle and Beast reunite, breaking the curse, and watch clock turn to man and foot stool turn to puppy.
As Belle and Beast bond over their love of books, I look to my side, watching my own family bond together over a classic story. The movie received thousands of positive reviews from fans of all ages. In my own party, who included a friend of the family in her senior age, my mother, and my boyfriend’s sister and 7-year-old niece, we too all walked out with smiles on our faces, sharing our favorite parts.
Beauty and the Beast is a tale told over and over, and yet, I fall in love all over again with it every time. The elegant dances, snappy songs, and beautifully decorated scenes and costumes took my breath away, sparking that childhood dream of finding my own adventure and love story one day.
On that Sunday afternoon, the outside world disappeared and I was back in time as my younger girl self. When the credits began, I walked out to meet my own beast/prince. Though he can’t dance, we have our own adventures underway.
Beauty and the Beast will be playing at the Portage IMAX until April 5. To see upcoming show times, click here.