Genre: Fantasy/Romance Director: Daniel Barnz Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Neil Patrick Harris, Peter Krause, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Erik Knudsen, Dakota Johnson RunTime: 1 hr 38 mins Released By: Shaw Rating: PG Official Website: http://beastlythemovie.com/
Opening Day: 12 May 2011
Synopsis: Beastly is a teen romance about learning how to see past false surfaces to discover true inner beauty. Seventeen year old Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is the spoiled, shallow and incredibly popular prince of his high school kingdom. Entirely captivated and empowered by his own physical appearance, Kyle foolishly chooses Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), a goth classmate rumored to be a witch, as his latest target for humiliation. Unfazed by his cruel behavior, Kendra decides to teach him a lesson outside as he is on the inside. Now he has one year to find someone who can see past the surface and love him, or he will remain “Beastly” forever. His only hope, an unassuming classmate he never noticed named Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens), may be his best chance to prove that love is never ugly
No second guessing, this young adult satire is helmed from the much beloved classic, Beauty and the Beast. From cartoon to TV series, much of its iteration of love and acceptance has been attained, bumping it up to fit into the Y generation was apparently, saddened to say, ghastly to bear.
This is the case of riding on the twilight wave, Beastly follows a tale of a young handsome man, bathing in his glory of his popularity, intelligence, wealth and given good looks while dissing upon his fellow school mates to ridicule. With all the opportunities laid before him, one unfortunately develops such a mean characteristic that he is willing to put down anyone who tries to retaliate. Too bad he chose the wrong target as he sets out a major embarrassing situation which resulted him being cursed, transforming his physical attire to everything he despise.
Now, to everyone who already know the story of this unforgettable plot, it’s a feel good film with a moral ending which wraps up the film very much like a Disney flick. It shouldn’t be a spoiler anyway unless your childhood was deprived of such tales. But for those uninitiated, please do turn a blind eye to the next few line. This is a tale as old as time, it’s song, as old as rhyme (See what i did there?), and yet it manages to confuse us with such predicament with such a slow pace but yet feels rushed. Filled with groan-inducing lines and muddled with its poor acting and terrible script, i must say that the demographic of such visual entertainment has to be spot on, targeting to the young teenagers out looking for true meaning of beauty and acceptance. Sounds like like a straight to video material doesn’t it? Not that it had bad taste all around though. There were a few gems along the way which detoured itself from the cookie-cutter much like the haunting moment at the zoo makes it clear of how much better the film could have been or potential to be and less of a fairytale.
As mentioned before, the 2 stars, Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens are pretty much a natural eye candy who never saw the light of commitment in their emotion and barely just skimmed through their role in the film. Light hearted you may argue but i have to confess, they did perform on par as much as the film fared. Having extreme stereotypical views, both roles played by these idols are too mundane to even care. Saving grace were the supporting roles from Neil Patrick Harris and Lisa Gay Hamilton who were merely fillers to spice up the monotonous flick.
Admittedly, following a footstep of the Brothers Grimm tale has to be a daunting task, much a grandure setting and storyline which forces you to blur the lines between fantasy and reality in a modern setting. Unfortunately, the film has fallen into the trap of not knowing which direction to go with and decidedly to dabble into every genre to cater to the masses and managed to dilute it along the way. At this point in time, I'll rather they start breaking into song and dance. Still, this 21st-century fairy tale doesn't wilt, but it's not quite refreshed, either.