Monday, 7 November 2011

Movie Monday - Beastly

There are so many movies being made out of books these days that I've decided to create a feature where the two will be compared. On the first Monday of each month, I'll take a book I've read that's been adapted and compare it with the movie version. As with all my reviews I have tried to avoid using spoilers, although some minor ones may slip through.

First up is Beastly by Alex Flinn, made into a movie staring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer.

I really enjoyed the book, and I loved the movie too although it is pretty different. Like most book-to-movie adaptations the story has been glossed up and compressed, so the most obvious difference is that Kyle gets one year to break the curse not two as in the book.

The plot stays pretty true to the major parts of the book, although Kyle doesn't have his magic mirror and Lindy's father sends her to him to keep her safe rather than so he can get his drugs back. Lots of little things have been changed though - the school in the movie is Bucksford Academy not Tuttle, Kyle likes roses because Lindy does not because Will shows him and, other than one scene, there is barely any reading in the movie whereas it's a big deal in the book.

Alex Pettyfer is an almost perfect match to how I imagined Kyle and he captures the arrogant nature perfectly. However the beast is pretty different in that he is a "self-mutilated tattooed frankenskank" rather than an actual hairy beast. The other big changes is that he goes from Kyle to Adrian in the book and Kyle to Hunter in the film.

Vanessa Hudgens is a great personality match for Lindy, but looks nothing like how I imagined. In the book she is described as "a sort of mousy-looking girl with a red braid and freckles" so that's pretty different from Vanessa Hudgens' dark hair and olive skin.

Kendra wasn't what I expected, although Mary Kate Olsen did an incredible job of bringing the character to life. In the book she is supposed to be fat at first, and then appear to get thinner when Kyle realises that she's a witch whereas in the movie she is slim throughout with some awesome shoes. Her curse has also been changed from "" in the book to "embrace the suck" in the movie.

Neil Patrick Harris is a perfect match for Kyle's tutor Will, although I was disappointed his seeing eye dog Pilot is absent from the movie. Magda in the book is Zola in the movie, but other than making her Jamaican she is also a great match for the book as is Kyle's TV anchor father.

The ending is a bit different with Kendra's story continuing in a different way to the book, and Kyle and Lindy's ending being less dramatic but far more romantic. In some ways I prefer the sweet romantic ending of the movie, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't slightly miss the drama and action of the book.

All in all I think it was a fair adaptation and while I miss some parts that didn't make the jump from book to movie I did enjoy watching it.

So have you watched or read Beastly? What did you think?

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