By Melissa Moore
The dying rose in “Beauty and the Beast” symbolizes the beast running out of time to overcome his challenge. If this rose represented “Beastly,” the human version of the Disney animation, it would have eventually died.
“Beastly” follows Kyle Kingson, a gorgeous, spoiled high school boy who believes physical appearance leads directly to success. However, upon crossing Kendra Hilferty, a strange girl who coincidentally happens to be a witch, he is transformed into an ugly beast until someone says the words “I love you” to him.
Kyle, abhorring his new look, recedes into a secluded house where no one can see him, brooding in self-pity for losing his looks and any shred of hope his father could ever love him.
Kyle’s father, a famous news anchor, never had time for him even when Kyle had brain cancer. This nuance, however, is quickly forgotten in the plot.
In his ugly, brooding state, Kyle finally remembers one girl, Lindy, whom he began to like. Instead of actually talking to her, he follows her around New York City and camps out in front of her apartment before blackmailing her dad to force her to live with Kyle in isolation. To prevent outside recognition, Kyle calls himself “Hunter.”
The plotline progresses predictably with very few moments of potential success. The script is average, barely intriguing the audience. Only for brief instances is one completely captivated by the movie; instead, one’s eyes will be distracted by Kyle’s many markings.
The word “ugly” should not apply to Kyle, even in beast form. Though some scars slightly disfigure his face, he looks more like a henna model who recently got into a knife fight.
The one redeeming quality in “Beastly” is the message: inner beauty is what truly matters. This shines true and clear and, though slightly overdone, is still refreshing to hear.
“Beastly” runs 86 minutes and is rated PG-13 for mild violence, profanity, and drug content.