"A Witchy Beauty and the Beast"
What You Need To Know:
BEASTLY is only fairly entertaining. Some of the acting and effects are a bit silly. Also, the movie is crude at points, with an emphasis on “embracing the suck,” a theory that there is beauty in the ugly. The movie seems to honor witchcraft, since the curse on the hero brings positive self-revelations to the characters. The movie’s content is unacceptable.
(PaPa, OO, EE, B, LL, VV, S, N, DD, MM) Strong pagan worldview, with an occult witchcraft spell bringing positive self-revelations to the characters, plus some pro-environmentalist content and some light moral elements; 14 obscenities and two strong profanities, plus some scatological terms and vulgarities such as “we suck”; strong violence includes man shoots and kills another man; light sexual content includes mention of teenager sex and passionate kissing; upper male nudity and pictures of scantily clad girls; no alcohol use; a drug addict overdoses; and, bad fathers, one father lies to son, another father is a drug addict, racism, bad role models, dysfunctional family portrayal, absent father figures, absent mother figures.
BEASTLY is a modern version of the fairy tale BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, developed from a contemporary novel. It has many problems and fails to capture the real essence of the fairy tale.
In the story, Kyle is a young, attractive high school student seeking the nomination as president of the Green Committee. During his speech to become the Green Committee leader, he tells all of the students they will only be loved if they are attractive. Because of his popularity, he is nominated for the position, which starts a conflict with another candidate running, a witch named Kendra.
Kyle publicly teases Kendra about her “ugly” Goth look. Kendra chants to Kyle to “embrace the suck” and deliberately puts a curse on Kyle. This curse is to bring to light the ugly insides of Kyle, and he transforms into a “beast” with tattoos, scars and a swollen face. Kendra comes to Kyle and tells him the curse will ware off in a year, but only if he finds someone who will love him for who he is, despite his beastly appearance.
Shocked by what has happened, Kyle goes to his father, Rob, for support, but his father is a figure in society known for promoting love of only those who have beauty on the outside. Rob takes Kyle to every sort of doctor to try to get his handsome looks back, but nothing can be done.
Rob eventually drops Kyle off at a huge mansion outside of the city, in order for Kyle not to be seen by others. Rob promises to go see his son Kyle, but lies each time and clearly ostracizes Kyle for his ugly looks.
During this time, Kyle retreats from society and only sees his maid and his blind teacher, Will, who only knows him for who he is, not his appearance. Kyle also becomes infatuated with a sweet girl from his school, Lindy. He starts to follow Lindy, watching her from a distance and wishing to protect her.
One night as Kyle watches Lindy, Lindy finds her father in the back alley in a confrontation with a drug dealer for money. The drug dealer has a gun pointed at Lindy’s father, and she is caught in the middle. Kyle decides to take action and saves Lindy but her father gets hold of the gun and kills the drug dealer. Kyle tells Lindy’s father he can protect her, and she ends up coming to live with Kyle in the mansion
Lindy feels like she is in prison to be so far away from the city, away from school, and kept up in the attic. Kyle reaches out to Lindy. She starts to accept him, even with his beastly looks. Will her love break the evil spell?
BEASTLY is only fairly entertaining. Some of the acting and effects are a bit silly. Also, the movie is crude at points, with an emphasis on “embracing the suck,” a theory that there is beauty in the ugly. The movie seems to honor witchcraft, since the curse on the hero brings positive self-revelations to the characters. The movie’s content is unacceptable. Also, the movie ultimately fails to capture the essence of the great fairy tale on which it’s based, where the beast was actually a good prince who was unfairly cursed by an evil witch. Thus, in the fairy tale, the heroine looks past the beastly appearance to see the real goodness within.