Writer: Anne JamaludinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“A Cinderella Story”, “Beauty And The Beast”, “EverAfter”
"Beastly" is a modern day adaptation of the classic "Beauty And The Beast" fairytale and what makes the story a 'tale as old as time' would definitely be the plot that will never get worn out despite being used over and over again in so many different adaptations before.
Based on Alex Flynn's 2007 novel of the same name, it all started out with a vain rich man's son who has an ugly nature and only cares about the surface's beauty than the inner being. One day, he finds himself cursed by a witch and transformed into a very hideous creature with the only way to break the spell is by finding true love. In other words, he must find a girl who can love him for who he is and not how he looks like. Fans of the classical tale would definitely be able to recognize quite a number of plot resemblances in "Beastly" to the original "Beauty And The Beast".
Alex Pettyfer's character Kyle Kingson did not manage to deliver as a supposedly black-hearted guy with an ugly nature. Well, if he was supposed to be mean and spoilt, he looks more confused between a neglected son and a spiteful douche. Furthermore, the special make-ups department certainly did not have the heart to transform the obviously good-looking Pettyfer into a really hideous beast. Literally. In fact, Kingston is still pretty much an eye candy when he is in his 'cursed form'. Besides that, Pettyfer's on-screen chemistry with love interest Lindy Taylor (played by Vanessa Hudgens) lacks in the fireworks department that it seems that the leads are trying too hard to create even a flicker of spark. Hudgens' acting on the other hand makes Lindy another shadow of "High School Musical"'s Gabriella Montez in her list of movie roles. Neil Patrick Harris however becomes the saviour of the whole lot from an early condemnation. His portrayal as Will, the amusing blind tutor triggers feverish laugh among the audience and his actions as well as words in the movies seem nonchalantly funny that he steals the thunder with every single one of his scenes. While Mary-Kate Olsen brings back the real meaning of gothic and being the fashionista she is, she rephrase style all together in the same sentence and successfully leaves an impact with her portrayal as Kendra, the goth witch. In short, the minor characters play out their cards so well that it saves the audience from Pettyfer and Hudgens' poor performance, both as separated individuals or together as a couple.
The effects are quite creditable that they bring back the magic in fairytales and regardless how modernized the setting could be, the audience will still be able to appreciate the connection between the visual effects and the elements of enchantment in the movie.
Overall, "Beastly" is still recommended for fairytale and chick flick lovers out there who desire to experience a decent amount of magic, combined with romance at the silver screen. Be gently reminded though, for Hudgens lover who could not stand to see her with another guy than Zac Efron, just cast aside the scepticism for Pettyfer might just be the next best hit among the teenage ladies.Cinema Online, 07 March 2011