Beastly (2011)

dir. Daniel Barnz

Every single aspect of Beastly is hilarious. This attempt to retell the Beauty and the Beast fairytale through a “dark” modern lens is about as shallow and melodramatic as can be. Alex Pettyfer plays a smug teenage boy who gets transformed by a witch into a beast. Being a beast, in this case, involves being made hairless, scarred, and tattooed. His eyebrows are replaced with the words “Embrace suck”, except stylised to look like Arabic script, for absolutely no discernible reason whatsoever. Vanessa Hudgens plays the beauty who can save him, so he runs about shooting drug dealers, rescuing soon-to-be-deported children and curing blindness. Obviously the whole experience transforms him into a kind and gentle soul, who realises looks don’t matter – so he’s given his good looks back. Beauty and the Beast has never been the best moral compass, but Beastly takes the hypocrisy and pandering to massive extremes.

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