Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Movie Review: Beastly

Beastly is a modern take on Beauty & the Beast. It stars Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy, the beauty, and Alex Pettyfer as Kyle/Hunter, the beast.  Mary Kate Olsen is Kendra, the witch (enchantress in the fairy tale). Lisa Gay Hamilton plays Zola, the housekeeper, and Neil Patrick Harris plays Will, the blind tutor.

I like this movie. The scenes and the acting is real enough to make you believe that it's a modern/contemporary story. But there are fantasy elements that remind you to believe in the impossible.

Pettyfer's beast makeup is both original but fantastical.  If you see a man walking down the street with the same makeup effect, you'd think it was done intentionally. It looks magical, which it is because it's part of Kendra's curse on Kyle, but it takes away from the realism and dips - or rather plunges - into the fantasy. Very original though.

I like their reveal at the end, when Lindy figures out who the beast really is. Not overly dramatic. No shining rays coming from fingers or toes. The reveal makes sense.

My favorite character in terms of costume is Olsen's Kendra. She the school witch, and she has the best wardrobe in the movie. They had fun with her hair, makeup, clothes, and shoes.

What didn't I like? Well the fact that they couldn't think anything better than the blind tutor playing darts because a witch gave him a dart hex. WTH? I also didn't like the poetry scene. They read a poem together while the seasons pass by. Too cheesy. Hated Kyle's presidential election speech in the beginning. Yes, it showed how truly arrogant and ugly inside he was, but it was too out there. It makes you wonder what kind of kool aid they serve in that school.

This movie really is a straight forward modern take on Beauty & The Beast. There are no added twists or thought provoking elements. You know what will happen if you know the fairy tale. But it doesn't assume anything just because the audience knows the fairy tale. Some scenes could have been written better, but overall it is well done, and thus enjoyable.

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