By Maddie Gillespie
Acting Business Manager/Senior Staff Writer
Nearly every child has seen Disney’s classic “Beauty and the Beast,” or has read the tale of a Beauty who reformed a Beast in a childhood storybook. The latest renderation, “Beastly” proves that a fairytale can still surprise.
Forget Disney’s hulking hairy beastly dog-man and say hello to Alex Pettyfer in the role of Kyle Kingson. Pettyfer begins this modern fairytale as the handsome private school hunk who has it all – money, class and more importantly – looks.
Then enters the witch, Kendra, portrayed by Mary-Kate Olsen, who comes to give princely Kyle Kingson a second chance.
Kendra’s image as the tattooed, Gothic figure of Kingson’s up-town academy school challenges what society deems as beautiful – what is outside and not what is inside. To make Kingson see the critical difference between these concepts of beauty, Kendra curses him to be as ugly on the outside as he is inside.
Scarred, tattooed and with enchanting piercings all over his body, Kingson is given one year to find someone who can “see” the goodness within people better than he can or risk being “ugly” forever.
As all good fairytales come to reveal, the role of the princess to is Lindy Taylor, portrayed by Vanessa Hudgens. Taylor is the scholarship girl amongst the privileged masses of Kingson’s school, but appears to “see” people for the beauty that lies deep within them. She refrains from judging others and works hard to get what she wants rather than expecting mom or dad to buy it for her.
Through a unique twist of fate Taylor comes to stay in Kingson’s isolated town house, although Kingson refuses to tell her his real name. Instead, Kingson tells Taylor that his name is Hunter, seeking to remove himself from the idea of Alex Kingson from Taylor’s mind.
Here, Kingson attempts to woo Taylor with expensive bags and jewelry until finally learning that the best of gifts come from the heart. Overtime Kingson builds Taylor a romantic greenhouse on his house’s roof, despite never swinging a hammer in his life before that moment.
Every day, every minute spent with Taylor has Kingson become more in love with Taylor than before. However, all fairytales must have a point of crisis and “Beastly” is no different. Taylor’s father is suddenly hospitalized and Kingson makes the difficult choice of letting Taylor go to her father, even while he knows that she may not return and consequently he will be forced to live out his life as an ugly “beast.”
A happy ending manages to reveal itself. “Beastly” shows viewers that it’s never too late to learn to see a person’s inner beauty and kind to others brings rewards of its own.
This film also gives out more than a few laughs as audiences experience Kingson’s growing pains of maturity coupled with actor Neil Patrick Harris’ witty commentary in his role as Will, Kingson’s blind tutor.
So go out and spend some time being a kid again by finding magic in today’s world where magic is one of the last things you may expect to find.