‘Beastly’ remake of a Disney classic

A modernized version of “Beauty and the Beast” is good but doesn’t live up to expectations. “Beastly” is a movie adaptation of a book, by the same name, written by Alex Flinn. The film follows the Disney classic formula of a movie, the self-obsessed boy who turns into a beast must find true love to break the evil witch’s curse.
“Beastly” follows the lives of two people–the beast known as Kyle Hunter (Alex Pettyfer) and beauty known as Lindy, (Vanessa Hudgens) the kind-hearted person who sees the good of everyone. The opening scenes of the rich good-looking teen that has it all show the one-dimensional character of Kyle. Unconcerned with anything ugly, Kyle is warned by Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), a social outcast known as a witch among her peers, to “change your ways or else quickly become reality.”
After a public humiliation done to Kendra by Kyle, a spell is put on Kyle that turns him into the beast, a scarred and ugly boy. To add to the problem, Kyle must find one person who truly loves him for what he has become and not what he looks like.
Lindy becomes the object of love for Kyle. The movie follows Kyle’s journey into becoming the beast and helps him learn a thing or two about himself in the process. Realizing his whole life was fake before turning into the beast, Kyle learns to adjust with the help of a blind tutor (Neil Patrick Harris) and his housekeeper, sent to live with Kyle in a place isolated from society by his egotistical father.
Once again the attractive Alex Pettyfer nabs the lead role and brings this sort of cocky/vulnerability to his character that makes him believable as the boy who is searching and learning about himself. Pettyfer is pensive with his expressions and plays the bad guy/good guy well. At first you hate the guy, but you continue to see him as redeeming through his acts of kindness such as the rose garden that he builds for Lindy, a central symbol of beauty represented in the film and book.
Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy comes off as clumsy and awkward in the beginning but grows into a strong woman who sees past Kyle’s initial character and learns to feel for Hunter without knowing who he really is. As an audience member, you start to feel for the characters, genuinely wanting it to play out like a fairy tale. All the hurdles and struggles are worth it once the two start to realize what is going on between them.
Even though the film is about Kyle’s journey into becoming a better person, some laughter balances out the seriousness. The dialogue between Kyle and his tutor are worth a laugh or two.  There is a good love/hate relationship that evolves into Kyle learning that some things aren’t as bad as other things in the world.
While “Beastly” follows the book expect for changes that don’t hurt the story line, there is still this hunger for something more. It was enjoyable but seemed to lack something. Regardless, a message of beauty is the core of this film. In a world where being beautiful is what makes a person, “Beastly” instills a powerful message that beauty isn’t on the outside.


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