I retelling of the ageless tale “Beauty and the Beast,” the 2011 film Beastly was definitely a delightful surprise. Though the superficiality of Kyle Kingston, played by Alex Pettyfer, is a bit over the top, it can almost be overlooked because I prefer him much more as his “Beast” character. It is a strange reality that most people tend to prefer the Beast figure to the actual man they are. For example, in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast I found myself wanting Belle to remain with the over-sized water buffalo, rather than the shaggy haired prince. There is something seductive, intoxicating, and liberating about a hideous figure being able to garner the love of a beautiful woman. The childhood moral of the importance of inner beauty rather than outer does not fail to please in Beastly, as Pettyfer’s transformation is visually stimulating. Somehow, I too did not find him ugly like Vanessa Hudgens character, Lindy. She sees the man and not the monster, and though I am not a huge Hudgens fan, I will credit her with a job well done in this film. Another delightful surprise and comic-relief was Neil Patrick Harris’ character as Kyle Kingston’s blind tutor. One aspect that I felt was stretched and not well-integrated, or adapted, was Lindy’s father being a drug addict and the reason she has to leave Kyle (or Hunter, which he tells her his name is once he has transformed) is because he has an overdose. Also, Lindy is forced to stay at Kyle’s place for her own protection, another element I thought was a stretch.
Unfortunately, Alex Pettyfer is receiving more press now a days for his arrogant ‘beastly’ like qualities when discussing his career and success. Honestly, I just want to ignore these conceited remarks in which he seems to place himself above those in the young Hollywood feeding pool, because truth be told he is really delightful to look at. Shallow I know, but I do not mind quenching my eyes thirst for tall, handsome drinks of water.