Arts and Entertainment

The beautiful side of 'Beastly' | Movie Review

The film "Beastly," based on the novel of the same name by Alex Flinn, is a new romantic drama that takes a modern twist on “Beauty and the Beast” as viewed from the perspective of the Beast rather than the Beauty.

Kyle, the son of a handsome and rich celebrity news anchor, is completely self-absorbed and very popular at his fancy private school. When he singles out a frightening and unappealing classmate who had confronted him about his narcissistic ways, he pushes her too far and she curses him to be as hideous outside as he was inside. The condition he was given was a single year to find someone who will love him for his personality instead of other shallow characteristics, or forever stay scarred and marred.

As soon as his even more vain father sees him, Kyle is left in an empty and isolated house with only his family maid and a new blind tutor. When he ventures out of his isolation for the first time in months, he learns how loyal his so-called friends really were to him, and receives a surprising insight from Lindy, another former classmate. He is soon plagued with thoughts of her and tries to get closer to her under the assumed name of Hunter, yet never revealing himself to be the Kyle she knew and secretly liked.

Beastly was extremely well cast. Alex Pettyfer, the star of “I Am Number Four,” which came out only two weeks earlier, was brilliant as the egotistical, popular bully with a neglectful father. I especially loved Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy, even though I’ve never been very fond of her work before. She is perfect in many ways because she excellently plays the sweet, down to earth and not superficial girl that would be willing and able to look past Kyle’s appearance. Another interesting addition to the cast was Mary-Kate Olsen as the bizarre witch that cursed Kyle.

The movie began in a relatively choppy and awkward way, but as the movie progressed it became more genuine and profound. There was a mix of humorous and light-hearted parts that had the audience in stitches with many heartfelt parts that made people like my mother and I tear up.

The strangest part of the entire film was how Kyle stalked Lindy and runs in to save her when her and her drug-addicted father get into trouble with a drug dealer. The result is Kyle practically blackmailing the father into making Lindy stay in his safe and remote house with him after one of the drug dealers threatens to kill Lindy as revenge. The premise for them being able to get close to one another seemed unlikely and somewhat strained.

After Lindy and Kyle are forced to spend time around each other, he tries to win her affections with fancy gifts, but soon learns Lindy is not like the shallow girls he normally dated. He learns to figure out things that she would appreciate, and their relationship quickly blossoms, but not quickly enough for Kyle, whose year goes by faster than he’d like.

Overall, Beastly was an endearing and captivating retelling of the classic moral that you can’t judge a book by its cover, and people can change. Despite some of its shortcomings, the movie was compelling and enjoyable. I believe that many would find something that speaks to them within Beastly’s story, especially those in my age group.

 

Aran Kirschenmann, 15, is a contributing writer for the Bellevue Reporter and a freshman at The International School in Bellevue.

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