Beastly (2011)

Posted: June 23, 2011 in Hollywood
Tags: , , , ,



A modern-day take on the “Beauty and the Beast” tale where a New York teen is transformed into a hideous monster in order to find true love. –IMDb


Daniel Barnz


Daniel Barnz (screenplay), Alex Flinn (novel)


Alex PettyferVanessa Hudgens and Mary-Kate Olsen


 Drama | Fantasy | Romance



Based upon the novel by Alex Flinn, Daniel Barnz directs and writes the screenplay for what is firmly a tale for the teenage demographic. Pettyfer plays Kyle, the son of a wealthy news anchor named Rob Kingston (Peter Krause). He’s always been obsessed with looks and himself like his father taught him ‘beautiful people have it the best’. After playing a prank on a fellow classmate (Mary-Kate Olson) and humiliating her, for being unattractive, he’s cursed by the student into being ‘as ugly as he is on the inside on the outside’ until he can find someone to love him and state it.

 Now a ‘scarred monster’ he drops out of school and is home schooled by a blind private tooter (Neil Patrick Haris) his dad hires for him. He’s shut away from society at a private condo where his dad initially agrees to stay with him until he eventually neglects him there permanently.

So now before the curse gets permanently set in 12 months time, Kyle has to seek out true love in order to be rid of it, and to get the person to say those 3 sacred words. With absolutely no social graces or skills to talk about since everything about the teenager is money and manipulation through his appearance, he finds it terribly hard to try and connect with others, obliterating his past smug life, until he hatches a plan to try and seduce Lindy, played by Vanessa Hudgens, to make that goody two shoes fall in love with him, or at least that’s how director Daniel Barnz made it seem like. You know you’d come to expect true love that will eventually take over, but somehow that rang quite hokey and convenient, since Alex Pettyfer made it seem like he’s really the master manipulator, scheming and planning for sparks to fly and chemistry to be exploited in order to work toward Kyle’s selfish objectives.

Still of Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens in Beastly

So the redemption didn’t actually feel sincere, and that’s why this film failed in its wanting to tell a moral story that all that matters is the beauty in one’s heart and intention. After all, the Beast here did quite the unthinkable, in blackmailing Lindy’s dad to send Lindy into his abode in order to stay safe since she’s wanted by some thug, and of course to fall into his plan of slowly romancing the lass in order to be rid of his hex.

I don’t see Kyle getting much upset turning from such flawless face (as he thought) to a seriously scar-faced; and Lindy not being surprised when she saw Kyle’s face – as Hunter, a total stranger – this just doesn’t quite make sense. The acting plays an important role in terms of touching audience’s emotions and connection to the movie, but the casts in Beastly fail in such area. The leading casts maybe good with simple teen love story, but the storyline in Beastly seems to be a heavy topic for them to handle, so now it just appears to be a shallow love movie with no sentiments triggered. The two characters that held on its own were of Neil Patrick Harris who did what he does best. Putting his Barney Stinson persona on the movie. whose comic timing is impeccable. And Mary Kate-Olsen who nailed her character which includes a crazy wardrobe. She was creepy & totally sold out the witch role.

The script didn’t give their characters any depth which is ironic for a movie which tries to convey that the style is not nearly as important as substance. Even disregarding the clichés and the poor line delivery, the story itself veered too much from the original without being inventive or interesting enough to make it worthwhile. The story was so under-developed, the director missed some good opportunities for humour, excitement, drama, romance. It really lacked anything emotionally. The whole movie seemed too rushed, particularly at the end, and filled with filler that was either corny or didn’t need to be there.

The only part that was interesting was the version of the “beast” in terms of appearance, which was perhaps a little too interesting to be “ugly” but worked fine for the film.

I ratea it 4.5 out of 10.

Watch the trailer…


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