‘Beastly’ tale becomes on-screen beauty

March 11, 2011 Review Print Print

Take a fairy tale, place it in the modern world, add a touch of Gothic glamour, and the result is “Beastly,” the newest re-imagining of the classic tale “Beauty and the Beast.”

Released March 4, the movie is a sweeping critique of the modern view of beauty and popularity, wrapped in the trappings of fantasy and romance.

Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is a popular, handsome young man who believes looks and looks alone are the most important quality to possess.

This point of view brings him into conflict with Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), a Goth student rumored to be witch.

Claiming he wants to make it up to her, he invites her to a reception at the club.


At the reception, he meets Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) a young scholarship student at his school who had declined to run for president of the environmental club after seeing Kyle’s popularity would overshadow her dedication to the post.

When Kendra arrives, Kyle leaves Lindy at the side of the dance floor, then publicly humiliates Kendra.

Kendra curses him, causing him to appear scarred, tattooed, and overall unpleasant. She tells him he has a year to find someone to love him for who he is, not what he looks like, or remain ugly forever.

Nearly four months later, Kyle runs into Lindy, realizes that he has feeling for her, and begins a race against time to get her to return his feelings.

The cast of “Beastly” works seamlessly to bring the script to life, and nowhere in the film is there a bad or weak performance to be found.

The special effects are understated and used only when necessary to the plot, though they do provide some moments of humor.

The pacing and story are stunningly well developed.

If there is any problem with this movie, it’s how closely the script follows the original fairy tale.

At times, the need to follow the original can feel forced, as the writers struggle to make a modern tale using the rationales of a very old one.

Still, “Beastly” is one of the better fairy tale remakes, and definitely worth seeing.

Rating: A-

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