Once upon a time ( this archetypal start means that this is nothing but a fairy tale ) there was a good looking prince ( played by Dan Stevens ) . But he was also arrogant , so arrogant that he refused an enchantress refuge in a snow storm . Angry , she cursed him to become a beast and his entourage to become just pieces of furniture and the castle in which they all lived to be forgotten in the midst of perpetual snow . In order to lift the curse , a beautiful girl has to fall in love with the beast before the petals of a rose the enchantress has planted all fall down .

In a village not far away there exists just such a girl ( played by Emma Watson ) . But a formidable obstacle exists in the form of another suitor ( played by Luke Evans ) who will do anything to get the girl . And that includes attempting to kill the beast . However fate has other plans , and the two lovers are destined to meet...

The film has been created with great attention paid to every small thing especially in the castle . The director sure is a perfectionist . The visual beauty of each and every chamber and the costumes is almost too good . The pieces of furniture ( who are nothing but humans cursed into become furniture ) sure make a bedlam while dancing .

Music is the high point of the film ; this fact is very important as the film is a musical . The music just keeps getting better and better as the movie progresses with the music director reserving the best for the climax . The scintillating music sure adds to the grandeur of the film .

Also photography is very good and every frame is rich with colour . The experience is heightened if you see it as I saw it---in IMAX 3D . The visuals of the interiors of the castle , of the snow outside , of both gentle as well as ferocious animals , of the green countryside and hills , of the beauty of the heroine---all are well captured on film .

Emotion is a strong point in the film too , and the film gets more and more high on emotion as the climax approaches ; the emotion is nothing but pure love with pure hate and evil as obstacle....but what is a film without struggle between good and bad .

What could be more debatable is the necessity of the over political correctness of the film . Did blacks really get to mix and dance as equals in the eighteenth century with whites as shown in the film ? Were interracial couples accepted so easily in those times as shown in the film ? The film's villain has a gay sidekick who eventually meets a similarly inclined partner , albeit only for a brief moment ; but what was the need for an old fairy tale to have it's gay moment ?

But the enjoyment of the film is not marred by the debatable issues , and I liked it especially towards the end . The film will be appreciated by those with a yen for romance , and women may make a beeline for the movie in the theatres---as indeed they already have .

Verdict---Good .

Three and a half stars .