|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||La Belle et la Bete|
|Genre:||Fantasy, Adventure, Romance|
|Laufzeit:||About 114 min.|
|FSK:||From 6 years]|
There are always classic substances that are adapted so often that you have to ask yourself whether there really is another new version needed. One such fabric is the French folktale "Beauty and the Beast". In addition to the award-winning Disney animated film, the story for the cinema, television or stage was staged as a classic fairy tale, modernised version or musical. And even though there are hardly any possibilities left to gain something new from the story, Christophe Gans ("Pact of the Wolves") tries to do just that with his very own, visually stunning adaptation.
On the basis of classical motifs, he tells of the wealthy merchant (André Dussollier) who loses all his wealth when his small merchant fleet sinks in a storm. Now he has to leave the luxurious home with his six children and lead a meager life in the country. While two of his daughters in particular suffer as a result, the youngest, the beautiful Belle (Léa Seydoux), is really blossoming here. One of the journeys the merchant undertakes to get his wealth back leads him by chance into the hidden castle of a fearsome beast (Vincent Cassel). Since the merchant has stolen a rose, which he wanted to bring with him to Belle, the monster sentences him to death. Since Belle feels responsible, she wants to take her father's place. But in the castle, death does not await her, for the beast has completely different plans with the beautiful one, who is to keep her company every evening from now on. While Belle slowly loses her fear of the giant beast, she also gets more and more behind its secret. And soon she has to realize that the real danger doesn't come from the fearsome creature…
Christophe Gans has conjured up a powerful fantasy fairy tale from the classic model, which stylistically follows similar paths to "Snow White and the Huntsman". The effects may not always be perfect, but they provide enough food for the eye to comfort over some dramatic lengths. But it is not only visually that the French-German co-production strives for a breath of fresh air. Gans has also tried to put his own stamp on the all-too-famous story here and there. However, he was only able to do this to a limited extent. Because apart from some short moments the staging seems to be rather low in surprises and all modern CGI-effects are still rather old-fashioned.
That might sound like this umpteenth infusion of "The Beauty and the Beast" is just boring and completely unnecessary. However, even if there is some controversy about the necessity of a further adaptation, the film can't be denied its good entertainment value. The tempo is just as good as the mixture of fairy-tale drama, imaginative suspense and romantic romance. And also the actors, above all Léa Seydoux as Belle, deliver consistently good to very good performances. However, the whole thing is far less suitable for children than the Disney version, for example. Especially towards the end there are some sequences that could be quite frightening for smaller children. And even though the film has been released at the age of 6, this version of the fairy tale is aimed more at an audience that is not younger than 9 years.
Whoever expects a typical Christophe Goose film will certainly be disappointed by "The Beauty and the Beast". However, if you want to see a successful mixture of classic fairy tale material and modern fantasy adventure and if you want to be enchanted more by the great pictures than by the story, you can expect a truly magical cinema experience. And there is a very clear one for that - with a few small deductions in the B note: Recommendable!
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