Published on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 by Marisa Lindeman
This spring, one of Alex Flinn’s best-selling novels, Beastly, made its way to the big screen.
The story begins with the son of one of New York’s most well paid news anchors, Kyle, who believes life is based on the way you look. In his eyes, “beautiful people get it better,” and many of Kyle’s peers adore him because he is beautiful, except for, Kendra. Kendra is portrayed as a witchy girl and a victim of bullying.
One day Kyle decides he wants to take his harassment to another level and invites Kendra to a school dance. As most could suspect, he ditches her for a more attractive girl. In return, Kendra puts her witch craft into action and punishes Kyle by making him look “beastly.” She casts the spell on him and tells him he has two years to find someone who truly loves him even if he looks like a monster or he will be ugly forever. That night, she shows up at his house and leaves him with a mirror that can show him anyone at any time of the day.
His father soon realizes his son is transformed into a beast and tries to find a resolution from doctors all across the nation, but finds out his child is hopeless. He moves Kyle and their housekeeper Magda to an apartment in Brooklyn.
As time passes, Kyle begins to change and changes his name because he believes he is a “new person”. He lives as a hermit for the first year of his spell, but he soon finds a hobby in gardening and looking at his magical mirror that Kendra gave him. In his free time he continues in building a greenhouse for various different types of roses.
One night, he hears a ruckus in his greenhouse and finds a man trying to break into his home. He makes a deal with the man that he will not contact the police in exchange for his teenage daughter. Lindy, who was one of Kyle’s old classmates moves feeling miserable because she believes Kyle is some type of creepy pedophile.
Lindy and the beast soon meet, and while she does not recognize his new state, they begin to bond. The two begin spending more time together in the greenhouse and studying. Time passes and he begins to feel more confident that Lindy will fall in love with him, so, he makes a deal with Kendra.
His deadline is looming, so he decides to take Lindy to his lake house. They have a very enjoyable time but Lindy soon decides she wants to see her father one last time, so she leaves and Kyle lets her go because he truly loves her.
The day of the deadline approaches and he looks at Lindy through his mirror and realizes she is in trouble. He tries to save her but is shot in the act of doing so. He requests a kiss from her, which she gives while telling him that she loves him and with that, the curse is reversed and Lindy is very perplexed to see the beast transform into the beautiful Kyle he once was at the beginning of the story.
Like any book that is converted into a movie, many things are altered. Some are for the better and, of course, some for the worst.
The movie Beastly was changed dramatically from the book, for the worst. The director took the book and flipped all of its great components. For example, in the book, they illustrate Kyle as an actual beast, not just some bald guy with a few tattoos and a silver line on his face.
Also, they completely changed the look of Kendra. Though actress Mary Kate Olsen does excel at looking like a witchy figure, in the book, they described her as looking somewhat as a beast as well. Even if the actors and actresses were remodeled in a way, they did play the role of each character well.
The movie also changed many of the basic scenes from the original version in the book. For example, at the beginning of the movie, Kyle is giving a speech to his classmates on why he should be class president. In the book, this never happens. The book begins with him, instead, being elected for the king at the school dance.
In the book, when Kyle brings Lindy to his lake house in effort to make her happy, it is during the winter time instead of spring. I believe they should have still kept the winter seen because it was so romantic. Lindy and the beast would sled and skate together in the cold New York winters, it was so cute. In the movie, they just frolicked through the flowers for a couple of days and then returned home. The movie did not show the full effect on the relationship the beast and Lindy truly possessed.
Though the movie was not as well scripted as the book, they properly executed one element. In the book, the characters are around the age of 15 years old. I enjoyed how the movie upgraded the age a small amount so that the story could relate to a larger crowd. Usually, people don’t enjoy watching love stories about sophomores and freshmen, so making the characters a tad bit closer to their adult years was a good transformation.
The novel Beastly definitely displays the moral of the story, which is a person’s inside spirit matters more then something as simple as looks, way more beautifully then the movie. I believe people will never fully comprehend the moral unless they take the time to sit down and read Flinn’s work.
Even if you are not a bookworm, Beastly will have you more engaged than ever, way more then the movie. Similar to any story that is both in the movie and book form, the book always turns out to be the winning choice.