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Rashid Irani's review: Beastly

movie-reviews Updated: May 07, 2011 11:52 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Any witch way

Beastly
Direction: Daniel Barnz
Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens
Rating:*

Evidently aimed at legions of young fans of the Twilight saga, the teen update of Beauty and the Beast transposes the setting to a high-school in New York (albeit filmed largely on location in Montreal). Squandering all of the fairytale's potential Beastly is the kind of tepid romantic fantasy that only Hollywood seems to muster nowadays.

The beast-to-be is a rich handsome teenager (British model-turned-actor Pettyfer) who taunts one of his classmates (Mary-Kate Olsen, vamping it to the hilt) about her looks. She casts a hex on him. Disfigured with a series of scar-tissues, tattoos and worse, the cursed youngster is given a year to find someone who professes true love him never mind his horrific appearance.

Enter fellow student and the beautiful object of his amour (Hudgens). Once she moves in with scare-face at his family townhouse, the film has nowhere to go and peters out in a predictably upbeat climax.

Aside from the two leads who do nothing to liven the moribund screenplay, every supporting character including a blind, dart-playing tutor (don't ask) and a saintly Jamaican maid, come across as caricatures.

Any witch way, a more appropriate title for this adaptation may be Ghastly.

Beastly is a tepid romantic fantasy.