Beastly Books-to-Movie Report

 

After much rescheduling (mostly because they kept pushing back the release day of the film) we are finally able to discuss Alex Flinn’s Beastly for Novel Reaction’s Books-to-Movie challenge.

Obviously the first major change between the film and book is the looks of Kyle after being cursed. In the novel he is covered with hair and has tusks but in the film he is bald with imperfections. I can understand the reasoning behind the change, it would be hard to make the long hair believable without making Kyle look too much like Chewbacca. I personally liked the change as it made it easier to see the emotions of the actor. In my opinion, Alex Pettyfer did a great job as Kyle. He was able to be the pretty, uncaring shallow Kyle and then able to portray the lonely, upset Hunter. What do you think?

The change in time from two years to one year was interesting but I loved the addition of the tattoo on Kyle’s arm being the calendar for the curse. I tried to find an image of it but was unsuccessful. It made me laugh when it was decorated with Christmas lights and a star.

I had some problems with Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy. In the book Lindy is a red head with freckles and bad teeth. Vanessa is just too pretty. I don’t understand why Hollywood has to glamorous every characters. Part of the point of the story is that Kyle would never have looked at Lindy before becoming ugly but I felt that Vanessa was prettier than Dakota Johnson, who played Kyle’s girlfriend.

Also, I didn’t feel like the movie portrayed Lindy’s poverty stricken upbringing very well, the building where she lived didn’t look that run down nor were there druggies lining the road, as the novel described. In the novel, Lindy’s father is caught by Kyle when he tries to break into the house to steal stuff, at that time Lindy’s father offers her in exchange for his freedom. Part of the reason Kyle took her in was because he was afraid of who else her father would offer her to, so it was for Lindy’s safety from her father, not from some stranger. It was an interesting change where the film felt more like Kyle was completely selfish in taking Lindy into the house. Kyle spent a lot of time and effort, in the novel, to fix up Lindy’s room so it would be perfect for her, I didn’t see any of that in the film.

I was disappointed that the importance of the education of Kyle was not included. In the novel Kyle starts reading and studying before developing a relationship with Lindy, part of his growth becoming as a better person is because he reads novels like The Hunchback of Notre Dame. After he starts developing a relationship with Lindy then they are able to share this enjoyment of reading together but it was separate from trying to impress her.

I LOVED Neil Patrick Harris as Will, the tutor. He brought a lot more humor to the character than is portrayed in the novel but I loved it. I love this scene where he is blind playing darts. He felt a little like Yoda sometimes with his sayings but beyond that he was humorous and charming.

I was a little concerned going into the film that Mary-Kate Olsen wouldn’t be able to pull off the witch but I thought she was amazing. Freaky and sarcastic in the beginning then apologetic and bound by the rules of the curse by the end. She was just fierce when issuing the curse upon Kyle and her costumes were great!

The make-up detail work throughout the film is incredible. The bits of metal embedded into Kyle’s scars and cuts were subtle yet eye catching at the same time.

The film did keep the themes of love, friendship and what really matters is on the inside, not the outside of a person. One change that I LOVED was the last scene in the movie, I am not going to say what it is because I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t watched the film yet but it was perfect!

What were your overall thoughts and impressions?

Despite everything I said about disliking the changes between the novel and the film, I really enjoyed the story and will be purchasing it on DVD once it is released.