[Light spoilers ahead – references to new version enhancements, no details.]
I have never cried watching a movie as much as I did tonight.
I’m not sure if my older brother and younger sister have ever cried that much watching a movie either.
I was 5 years old when the original animated Disney “Beauty And The Beast” came out. At that age, I understood the idea of the story. I understood visual judgment and I understood why the prince was cursed for that reason.
I understood the requisite for the spell to be broken and how that was the moral of the story…
“But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.”
I understood it as a 5-year old child understands – where they can connect what is happening in a situation and understand it is not the “right thing”. As my empathetic mindset was still yet to develop, I didn’t really feel it back then.
The things I could easily feel, even at that age, was definitely the music.
My favorite “supporting” song, as I’d like to think of them as, from the movie is without a doubt “Something There”. It’s such a sweet song expressing the moment they both are realizing there is something they’re both feeling and are a little hesitant to admit it… but at the same time cannot deny there is a charm they find in the other that is something beyond how they look. The scene accompanying the song is always worthy of an “Awww” and a hopeless romantic sigh. I did just that tonight and a bonus tear of nostalgic joy to my eye.
The title song “Beauty And The Beast” is a beloved classic, not just of Disney songs, but of movie love songs of all-time. As soon as that intro melody begins, I’m already feeling, like everybody else is, feeling the love thinking “Here it comes *tear*”. Imagine my intertwined hands supporting my tilted head as I sigh dreamily. That’s how it feels. What can I say – I get the feels seeing people fall truly in love, even in the movies. The scene that accompanied the song in the original animated movie was amazingly epic for an animated movie. It was just them in that ballroom dancing so peacefully, so graceful. The scene itself best explains a love that could only develop from a pure state grown from a moment of willing care and understanding, blossoming into a sweet friendship, and then ultimately a true love acceptance, with one beautiful song about how such a true love can develop so beautifully… unexpectedly. How they stayed true to that feeling and even bringing a little more to it this time around was just too good. This hopeless romantic once again sighed with tears in his eyes.
With this new live-action version came new songs once again penned by Alan Menken and Tim Rice. One of those songs is called “How Does A Moment Last Forever”. Damn this song. They went Pixar on me with this one. The movie just barely is getting under way and the hints of Belle’s late mother with this song being sung by Kevin Kline as Belle’s father Maurice. Pixar movies have me well-exercised in comfortability of early-in-the-movie crying… so that once again happened. They utilized the song later more pronounced with reason… and my sleeve was soaked.
Another one of those new soundtrack additions called “Evermore” was sung by Dan Stevens as the Beast and had me and my older brother tearing up. That last chorus though…
“Now I know she’ll never leave me
Even as she fades from view
She will still inspire me
Be a part of everything I do
Wasting in my lonely tower
Waiting by an open door
I’ll fool myself, she’ll walk right in
And as the long, long nights begin
I’ll think of all that might have been
Waiting here for evermore”
*Cries in hopeless romantic*
They took a scene I understood as the “right” thing to do when I was younger and threw in a mature heartbreaking realization of a song… and now once again, here come the tears.
I could go on with all of the tear-jerking moments of this movie, which for some reason felt like every other scene, but I won’t.
There were some deeper psychological and social concepts being implemented into the character’s identities in this live-action version and it was an amazing exploration and revelation of each one. It was subtle enough so that kids could still enjoy the film as my generation did the original as a Disney movie, but also subtle enough that my generation as adults now could peer into those storylines and enjoy understanding something more about these characters.
The classic part of the story will always be what I relate to the most: Two people misjudged for how they’re seen from the outside, without being understood of who they are deeper inside, find themselves building a relationship founded on gained trust of mutual willing caring, and ultimately turning into one of the sweetest loves.
A dream as old as the original animated movie… for me.
At 5 years old, this love story wasn’t difficult to understand. The years through my youth would keep understanding it better and would easily help define the hopeless romantic in me.
At 30 years old, this love story still endures in me as a dream of “I want that type of love”.
I knew I would be emotional about the scenes with those 2 songs I love from the original. I was unprepared for how much more emotional they made it.
There was a time when fairy tale romances were associated specifically to the female gender as an ideal. I believe that this story is one of those fairy tales that finds the male protagonist as the one in distress… with a very relatable lesson of necessitating being vulnerable with an unguarded heart instead of being emotionally unavailable and defensive about things, thinking the world is as cynical as the way he was that got him into this karmic curse.
To believe the world sees you as “ugly” or “unattractive” but then a girl like Belle, who is so loving and kind but also a victim of judgment for being “weird” or “odd”, comes along and changes everything and helps you see yourself better in a better light… or rather moves your focus onto something more than just yourself. To someone more than just yourself. Someone you willingly want to understand and care for, and you fall in mutual love with her… unexpectedly… is the tale as old as time.
Both a little scared,
Neither one prepared,
Beauty and the Beast.
I hope you enjoy it like I did… with tissues in hand!
P.S. Nooooooo… Disneyyyyyyy… characterrrrrrrr… pisses meeeeee… off like Gaston.