Sunday, March 6, 2011


Still from Beastly
It's somewhat like Beauty & The Beast but just not. Director/Screenwriter Daniel Barns' Beastly centers around Kyle (Alex Pettyfer), a cocky, affluent and vain High Schooler with aspirations of becoming President of his Student Council. He toys with Kendra's (Mary-Kate Olsen) emotions, leading her to think he might be attracted to her, but before long he pays the price for his actions after he humiliates her in public.  She casts a magical spell  on Kyle, which deforms his perfect body and face. Devastated, he loses his self-confidence completely and drops out of school, as his perfection-obsessed Father estranges him also.

He is given one year to break Kendra's spell, but in order to do so he must be told he is loved by somebody. If not, he will be condemned forever with his ghastly looks and this forces Kyle to re-evaluate himself.  He becomes enamoured with a Girl at his School named Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) and takes her under his care, away from a life of danger with her Drug-dependent Father.  Having had affections for Kyle, Lindy never realizes that this kind-hearted stranger caring for her is in fact the Guy she has had feelings for all along.  Will she fall in love with him in time to break Kendra's devastating spell? 

Perhaps misconstrued, Beastly wants to be heartfelt and touching but misses the mark sorely.  If I were a Teenager, to whom this Film is targeted, I still would not have found it engaging.  Barns teases us with plot lines like Kyle's troubled relationship with his Father Rob (Peter Krause), and also budding friendships with his blind Tutor Will (Neil Patrick Harris) and Housekeeper Zola (Lisa Gay Hamilton). In the end  though, these ill-developed stories amount to little, devoting time to a horribly passionless romance between Kyle and Lindy.

Most importantly though, Pettyfer and Hudgens fail to spark a believable chemistry, while Olsen surprisingly is good as an over-the-top scene stealer. Kendra's importance as the Villain is minimized inexplicably and because of this, we fail to feel that  all-important sense of tension needed to drive this race against time.  Beastly is now in theatres and believe me, it's more Beast than Beauty.  Grade: D

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