Rating: 3.5 stars Quick take: Beautiful and opulent romance Beauty & The Beast is that iconic Disney romance that defines everything the studio does for its young and adult audience. Its success back in 1991 made Walt Disney Pictures the go to brand for romantic fairy tales for younger audiences. 26 years later, the company has adapted one its most remembered animation films into a live-action extravaganza. While Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent (2014) did the same thing for Sleeping Beauty (1959), albeit in a dark way, the new Beauty & The Beast film is unmistakably joyous and hopelessly romantic all the way. This whimsical and extremely detailed film is truly an experience. If you like fairy tales and romances, you’ll fall in love with this musical featuring Emma Watson in a jiffy. Staying true to the 1991 film, the story starts off as an enchantress casts a spell on a young prince (Dan Stevens) for being too arrogant. The handsome and proud prince is turned into a beast. Many years later, a spirited young girl named Belle (Emma Watson) is forced to have a run in with the grumpy and gnarling beast. Over an extended period of time, the two learn to appreciate each other and that becomes the base for their unlikely but extremely dramatic romance. The supporting characters and their respective storylines have been kept intact from the original. Gaston (Luke Evans) is Belle’s admirer and a self absorbed young man. Maurice (Kevin Kline) is Belle’s father, Le Fou (Josh Gad) is Gaston’s old friend and aide. While the castle’s unique staff Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), Mrs Potts (Emma Thompson) and Candeza (Stanley Tucci) all add to the drama. Apart from Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Josh Gad and Kevin Kline, rest of the cast lend their voices to CGI driven characters for most part of the film. Being a musical, majority of the performances happen while singing and the efforts of the entire cast are near flawless. Emma Watson looks beautiful and performs with great charisma. You could compare her to Judy Garland in The Wizard Of Oz and you’d not be wrong. Luke Evans and Josh Gad have the funniest and corniest lines in their songs. Their banter and camaraderie, replete with the homosexual references are funny and entertaining all through. With great songs and music, Beauty & The Beast gets the entertainment angle bang on. But where the film excels is its visual design. Whether it’s the French countryside, the gloomy forests or the opulent castle of the Beast, the details of every frame in this film are spectacular. It takes French design of royalty, fashion and their knick knacks and creates splendour in its IMAX 3D format. This movie is a pure delight to watch. Its heartfelt romance can warm the cockles of your heart. Disney has been crafting excellent movies of late. This live action musical is the perfect update to one of its classics. Beauty & The Beast is every bit as good and joyous as its original inspiration. A must watch for sure.