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Movie with Shane: Beauty and the Beast 

At 129 minutes William “Bill” Condon’s Beauty and the Beast may appear to the common masses as a classic told, Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont; and retold, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991) and yet again re-told (2017); but for a collector like me and many a one out there, this is a rare gemstone.

There is no side-kick to the original plot of a beautiful damsel Belle (Emma Watson) taking the place of her eccentric and overprotective widowed father, Maurice (Kevin Kline) as the prisoner of the beast (Dan Stevens).

And you would say, for merely stealing an ordinary rose? Well, yes that and more- or how else is the prophecy to be fulfilled- for remember originally it was another ordinary rose, offered to the haughty, proud and self-absorbed prince, which he rejected in return for shelter to an old hag, that actually turned out to be an enchantress!

It was her curse that turned the prince into a beast and his close aides into everyday items of daily use- a singing wardrobe- this is classic! And what is the bargain? Until the beast finds someone who he truly loves and finds true love in return, the curse can’t be broken.

Moreover, this can only happen until the last petal of the enchanted rose is still on, or else, poof…forever he shall remain a beast and his comrades along with him shall be part of the curse.

The castle is soon forgotten, encircled with snow (yes in June), a pack of blood-thirsty wolves and holds within its walls secrets so dark, that can be only be dispelled by the arrival of pure sunshine and joy- Belle!

Well, what makes Beauty and the Beast unique then?

One, it has stayed as close as possible to the original animated version, dialogues, scenes and the timeless music. The original Oscar-winning musical score by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menkel, wowed millions of fans globally and Disney was sure not to loose out on this one too. Menken returned to compose the music for this version of the film with the original songs by him and Ashman plus new one in collaboration with Tim Rice.

Director Condon, known for previous musical hits like Dreamgirls (2006) and Chicago (2002) (he wrote the screenplay), seemed to be impressed upon the fact that the music and scores had to be world class and that’s exactly what he got.

And then Tim Rice- who does not know him- Jesus Christ Superstar!

One of the original singers Celine Dione teams up with Peabo Bryson to render a new duet ‘How Does a Moment Last Forever’ while Ariana Grande and John Legend join in to sing the original ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

It’s a power-packed, star-studded performance; songs, visual graphics, sets and of course the ‘true love story’, will keep you glued on till the end. That’s why a classic is a classic, ‘tale as old as time, true as it can be’!


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