The Nation's Health + review

The Inner Beast (release)

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

So, I may have been quick to bag this out when news of the concept hit the net last year but heck, after watching the Beastly trailer I must say: they’ve turned me into a believer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the traditional fairytale remake in theory, yet they so often stuff it up on the big screen I have steadily become more and more disenfranchised. Cases in point are Ever After, The Brothers Grimm and Snow White.

Beastly, however, looks like it may be the exception. Based on the 2007 novel by Alex Flynn, it’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in New York. It follows rich and self-indulgent teen Kyle, who is transformed in to a hideous monster by a witch. His only chance of breaking the curse is finding someone who can see past his exterior and truly love him, enter classmate Lindy (the equivalent of Belle).

The novel was received well by critics, with Publishers Weekly citing it as a great read for young adults. Hence, with the success of the Twilight franchise, which contains similar themes of teen love, sexual tension, the supernatural and inner-monsters, it’s no wonder a movie adaptation was green lit so quickly.

In the film Vanessa `I pose nude online’ Hudgens is Lindy, the female lead, and the spankable Alex Pettyfer (best known for his roles in Wild Child and Alex Rider: Stormbreaker) is playing Kyle. In more interesting news, Mary-Kate Olsen has taken a break from hooking up with Ben Kingsley and plays the Gothic-chic witch. Everyone’s favourite gay (sorry Elton) Neil Patrick Harris also stars as the blind tutor/comic relief. Written and directed by Daniel Barnz, the man behind the sweet and seriously underrated Phoebe In Wonderland, Beastly looks like it might have some substance.

Sure, they are clearly aiming for the Twilight audience right from the indie songs featured in the trailer (Evermore and Death Cab For Cutie for those of you playing at home) to the heroine in peril scenario. Yet I have faith in Barnz, as it looks like there are plenty of important (and literal) messages in there for the teens about inner-beauty. And who doesn’t love a tinted romance/action? Plus, there’s nothing I wouldn’t pay to see more of Mary-Kate as that witch: irksome!

Beastly is released in the US on July 30, so probably a tad later for the rest of us. In the mean time, check out the surprising cool poster below.

The Inner Beast (release), 9 out of 10 [based on 415 votes]

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