Lifestyle

Potentially unpopular opinion: 'Beauty and the Beast' has been overexposed

Am I alone in thinking this?

By Jessica Chandra
Beauty and the Beast 2017

Disney released the final trailer for Beauty and the Beast this week. Like many people, I watched it.

By the time the 2:23 minute clip had ended, I wished I hadn’t.

You see, the final trailer promised lots of new footage, and it definitely delivered. Perhaps it delivered a little too well, because I feel like I’ve seen EVERYTHING.

In less than three minutes I feel like we got glimpses of all the important scenes in the movie.

Like a look at the French village scene from the beginning of the movie:

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Belle rolling her eyes at Gaston:

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Gaston’s song and dance number at the pub:

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The Beast getting angry at Belle after she finds his rose:

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The Beast getting attacked by wolves:

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The Beast showing Belle his amazing library:

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Some of the “Be Our Guest” musical number:

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We even saw Chip show Belle his party trick!

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Actually, just watch the whole trailer side-by-side with scenes from the animation, thanks to a speedy YouTube editor:

That’s not all – just last week, we were treated to a whole series of beautiful character posters from the film.

They featured all the main players – Emma Watson as Belle, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou etc – including the all-important castle staff-turned-furniture. But here’s the thing: they showed them all in their human form. And they even released an image of Dan Stevens as the human prince, which makes me wonder…

WHAT HAVE WE NOT SEEN?

I get that the appeal of this remake is all about seeing how the beloved and iconic 1991 animation translates into a live-action film – there won’t be any plot surprises because we know what happens – and I am definitely a Disney fangirl who latches on to any and every Disney film. I lost my shit when they announced they were doing a live-action film, and I thought Emma Watson was perfectly cast as Belle.

But why have we already seen SO much?

This goes beyond visual footage, too. Over the holiday break a few audio clips dropped of Emma Watson singing, and the new trailer also has the title track featuring the vocals of Ariana Grande and John Legend.

There are ways to hype up a film, and there are ways to over-hype a film. As much as it pains me to say it, I believe Beauty and the Beast falls into the latter category.

The problem with over-hyping a movie goes beyond than seeing more than we should. It sets up audience expectations, whether they’re high or low, which can greatly impact someone’s experience of seeing the final product.

There’s a reason why many film critics avoid trailers before reviewing a film – they don’t want to be swayed by what they’ve seen, which usually involves the film being chopped up with scenes moved around. There’s a running joke with comedies that the best scenes are in the trailer – and that often ends up being the case.

I know many non-film critics who also avoid trailers purely because they want to be surprised when they see a film. (My sisters are a little OTT and even leave the room if a movie trailer plays during a TV commercial break.) They also tend to have more favourable opinions of finished films compared to others who say it doesn’t live up to the hype.

But back to Beauty and the Beast. If you ask me, the very first teaser trailer was perfect. It gave us the mood of the film, served up all the ~nostalgic~ feels we needed, and showed us just enough of Emma Watson as the lead character.

Even the second, slightly longer trailer was fine, and then when the first official shots were released, well, I was happy to see them too.

OK look, I’ll even admit that I kind of got goosebumps when they released footage of Emma and Dan doing the table read.

But that was enough for me.

In a way, we were deprived of so much official material for so long that as soon as we got a taste, it was like we couldn’t get enough. So the studio fed the ~beast~ and gave us so many previews it’s like we’ve had our fill.

Having said that, I know I could be in the minority. I mean I probably am in the minority, based on the overwhelmingly positive reaction the trailer got on Facebook. There’s nothing to spoil about the plot – unless the film REALLY surprises us with some unexpected twist, but that’s doubtful – which is why, for me, the excitement was all about seeing how director Bill Condon would bring this to life. I feel like I’ve seen that now.

At the end of the day, all this marketing won’t deter all the people who will flock to cinemas in droves to see this, and seeing the beautiful scenes on a big screen is an experience in itself. I just hope, to quote one of the movie’s songs, that there’s ‘something there that wasn’t there before’ when it comes to watching the full movie.