Movie Review #2: Beastly (2011)

Beastly promo poster
Beastly promo poster (source: impawards.com)

 

Title: Beastly (IMDb)
Directed by: Daniel Barnz
Written byDaniel Barnz, based on a novel by Alex Flinn
Year: 2011
Length: 86 min
Rating: 6
My IMDb rating: 6/10

A typical beauty and the beast story. Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is a handsome and popular young man, and the son of a television news reporter who values beauty over everything else. He makes fun of Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), a typical goth rumoured to be a witch who is considered to be ugly. She warns him not to provoke her unless he wants to suffer from the consequences. Of course, he doesn’t heed the warning.

After inviting Kendra to a party and then rejecting her in public, Kyle is cursed to reveal his ugly inside on the outside. His hair disappears, and his body is covered in tattoos and scars (which looks pretty cool IMO). Kendra tells him that if he doesn’t find someone to love him despite his ugly appearance within one year, he will stay in this form forever. Enter a pretty but unobtrusive girl, Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens), who by wonderous and unbelievably convenient circumstances ends up having to stay at Kyle’s house. Kyle who now calls himself Hunter, was rejected by his father and sent to live in a house outside the City, accompanied only by his housekeeper (LisaGay Hamilton) and a blind tutor (Neil Patrick Harris). Over the course of her stay at Hunter’s house, Lindy begins to fall in love with Hunter but doesn’t say so until the very end of the film (naturally).  

There were so many things wrong with this film, I don’t even know where to start. Maybe with the horrible acting? Or how about the illogical story line (why would someone give his daughter to some random horrifying stranger…)? The characters are shallow and not realistic. If you want an ugly witch, maybe don’t cast one of the Olsens. To my disappointment, NPH was horrible in this film. I didn’t believe for one second that his character was blind. Needless to say that his role was totally superfluous as he didn’t teach Kyle anything during the whole duration of the film. Vanessa Hudgens seems to have only one expression throughout the whole film. It was difficult to watch.

What I did like was Alex Pettyfer’s acting. His portrayal of Hunter was believable. He showed Hunter’s frustration, his sensibility, and his struggle with understanding how to treat other people. Really nice job. Made me want to watch more movies with him.

I also enjoyed the visual effects and costume designs as well as the make-up in the movie. It was aesthetically pleasing to watch. The soundtrack was pretty nice as well.

Beastly is a romantic comedy/fairy tale where you can’t expect too much. If you are into cute and light entertainment (especially on a cold and rainy day), go for it. This film is something you watch when you don’t want to think too hard (or at all). You can see a trailer for the film here:

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