Review of “Beastly” (the movie)

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Last week my friend persuaded me to actually start reading Beastly so that when she bought the movie we could actually watch it. So I did, and fell in love with the book.

I could probably say the same thing about the movie if only I hadn’t read the book. The movie Beastly does follow the storyline of the book very closely, but with a few changes that if you read the book you might be a little annoyed.

For instance, in the book Lindy and Kyle meet once and talk for five seconds. In the movie they talk several time, and the viewer can already see a little romance brewing between the characters before Kyle turns into a beast. Which, in my head, is cheating a little, seeing as the Beast has to get someone to fall in love with him before he can be changed back.

Also, the ending was almost completely changed. I would have preferred the alternate ending as the real ending because it was a lot closer to the book, even though they still had one major flaw to it (which I will not say here because I’d rather you all go read the book to see what it is).

There were also little things: change of events (a school election rather than votes for prom court), ages, and how the green house gets built, that aren’t really that bad. They still told the story and helped it move along, even if they were different from the book.

My biggest complaint, though, was the casting of the movie, namely Vanessa Hudgens as the average looking Lindy because Vanessa Hudgens is far from average looking. Lindy is supposed to have reddish/strawberry blonde hair, freckles, and crooked teeth. Vanessa Hudgens… well.. we all already know that she is pretty flawless looking. Her acting abilities made Lindy come to life, except that Lindy in the movie still wasn’t really Lindy in the book. For one, I felt that I could really connect with the book worm Lindy, where movie Lindy seemed pretty popular for not being popular. Thinking about how they casted a beautiful girl as a character that’s supposed to be average looking is kind of weird for this movie. It kind of goes along with the theme that people want to watch beautiful people.

Neil Patrick Harris played the blind tutor Will which was kind of a stab to me. I love Neil Patrick Harris. His character, Barnie, in How I Met Your Mother cracks me up and I think he’s an awesome actor. But he’s not Will. Will, for one, is intelligent. Not saying Neil Patrick Harris cannot play an intelligent character, but seeing as all his characters are the comedians it’s hard to see him play an intelligent character. That’s why I cringed a little when I saw that he was playing Will. I knew right away that his character was going to be more of a comedian than he was supposed to be. After the movie was over, though, I still thought he did a very good job. No matter how hard I try, I cannot hate a character that Neil Patrick Harris plays, even if the character is completely changed because of it.

The thought of Mary Kate Olsen as the witch made me cringe a little at first too, but after seeing the movie I have to say she did a very good job at portraying the witch. The main issue I had with this character was she was really pretty, which may sound like a silly complaint. In the book, the witch is supposed to be disguised as a not-so-good-looking gothic teenager: hooked nose, bright green eyes, streaks of green in her black hair. Only after she is humiliated is she supposed reveal herself as a beautiful witch. In the movie it’s just Mary Kate Olsen with glitter and some dark eye liner. Nothing really hideous about her. She did wear some pretty awesome clothes, though. I can’t really blame her though for the way she looked. That’s all up to the director and make up/costume designer.

Finally, I think Alex Pettyfer made the perfect beast. He was very attractive and his acting like a complete jerk helped bring the character full circle. But again, his make up was less than satisfying. In the book he’s supposed to be a beast, like in Beauty and the Beast. In the movie he was given a bunch of scars and a bald head. Not quite a beast, and, in my opinion, he really wasn’t that scary to look at. It just looked like he was sick.

Now, I’m not saying don’t watch the movie, because the movie was very well done. What I am saying is if you watch the movie please don’t hesitate to read the book because, as is usually the case with books turned movie, the book is better.

Grade: C

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