Monday, October 14, 2013
Movie review: Remake of Romeo and Juliet sticks rigidly to the classic tale
Nothing more, nothing less.
Romeo and Juliet is the tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers written by William Shakespeare. Romeo is a Montague and Juliet is Capulet, both only children of their respective households. The Montagues and Capulets are sworn enemies. They battle in the streets, unable to let the past go. One evening the Capulets throw large party. Romeo and his friends, Benvolio and Mercutio, sneak in with the hopes of glimpsing the beautiful Capulet Rosaline. Instead of wooing Rosaline, Romeo falls madly in love with Juliet. Smitten, Romeo stays after the party and discovers Juliet at her balcony confessing her love for Romeo to the night. Coming out of hiding Romeo confesses his own love to her and disowns his name if only she will be his wife. The next the two are married by a simple friar who hopes their love will end the blood feud. Their story however is not to be happy one as death intervenes to prevent what could have been. Starring Damian Lewis, Laura Morante, Tomas Arana, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgard, Tom Wisdom, Christian Cooke, Ed Westwick, Hailee Steinfeld, Lesley Manville, Douglas Booth, Anton Alexander, Paul Giamatti, Nathalie Rapti Gomez, and Leon Vitali.
RATING6/10 stars – It is exactly what you would expect from Romeo and Juliet, nothing more, nothing less.
Romeo and Juliet is the classic Shakespeare tragedy retold by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) and directed by Carlo Carlei. This retelling of Romeo and Juliet is the no muss no fuss version. It sticks with the classic style, the classic settings, classic costumes and the language that Shakespeare wrote. No surprises here. With nothing new or different I can’t say why now was the time to do a remake of the classic love story, but then why not considering the last classic version was done in 1968 starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. I love that version. This new one is just as good in its own way. Perhaps it will be a great tool for schools to show when they study the play as the majority do. I will say that I thought Paul Giamatti cast as the Friar was perfect. He hit the nail bang on the head with his performance and it adds so much to the remake.
There is no real reason to run out and see this unless you are just a fan of Shakespeare or of this particular play. I saw it because I am a fan and a sucker for a love story – tragic ending or not. I wasn’t disappointed, but I also wasn’t overly impressed. This is just one of those films that probably didn’t need to be made but the world isn’t worse off for it.
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