Seventeen-year-old Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is the spoiled, shallow and incredibly popular prince of his high school kingdom. Kyle foolishly chooses Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), a witch masquerading as a high school student, as his latest target for humiliation. In order to teach Kyle a lesson, Kendra transforms him into someone as unattractive on the outside as he is on the inside. Now he has one year to find someone to love him, or he will remain Beastly forever. A quiet classmate he never noticed named Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) may be his best chance to prove that love is never ugly.
Beastly is the 2011 live action re-imagining of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, made most famous by the Walt Disney corporation in 1991. Twenty years later this film seems to be an attempt to capture a new audience for the tale and by its overly sentimental and romantic tone one can only assume that audience is that of melodramatic teenage girls.
The film centers on handsome, popular and self-involved high school boy Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) who is cursed after humiliating a female school colleague. His appearance is transformed into that of someone with significant skin damage and facial deformity and he will stay that way forever unless he can find someone who loves him in less than a year.
Under the guise of rich recluse Hunter, Kyle takes in fellow student Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) in order to save her from the people who are perusing her father for his unpaid drug bills. Accompanied by his Jamaican maid and blind tutor Hunter woes Lindy who seeing his changing heart falls for him.
The film is predictable and attempts to place a dark veil over the fairy tale whilst in turn dealing with the somewhat contrived subject of many teenage romance films, inner beauty. The film appears to be deep and mournful, as is the tradition of film’s such as The Twilight Series yet personally I found it pretentious and overly melodramatic, not to mention the horrendous slights it puts against the disabled community. However I imagine that many a hormonal teenage girl will have been moved considerably by the change in the main characters and the love that grows between them.