Romeo + Juliet May 20, 2011 22:12:09 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on May 20, 2011 22:12:09 GMT -5
Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo + Juliet is a failed attempt to modernize Shakespeare's classic play written all the way back in 1591. Its glossy production, awkward mix of old and new, and newer technology added to give it the "present" feel completely destroys the love aspect of the film and turns it into a goofy and lame adaptation of one of literature's many classics.
Obviously, this was meant for kids who don't like reading, but like action films. The scenes are loaded with primary colors and the action rarely ceases. The acting is beyond overdramatic, and turns the characters into buffoons who barely represent their respected characters in the play.
The nail that seals the coffin is the film's mix of the old and the new style. It can't decide if it wants to fully change Shakespeare's work, or keep some in and some out. We get a messy result. The film hybrids over using pistols instead of swords and car chases to entertain ones who believe the play is "boring."
To cover up the madness and chaos exploding on screen we get annoying and volume enhanced rock tunes that are out of place and just a complete and total waste of time. I would have never thought Radiohead would've made it in a film titled Romeo + Juliet.
The storyline is kept pretty much the same; Romeo and Juliet are star-crossed lovers who desparately want to be together. Romeo coming from the Montague household and Juliet from the Capulets, have known that their parents have had an ongoing rivalry forever but can't help but find solace in each other.
Despite its age and overall outdated language, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet has managed to leach itself into the school curriculum year after year. The book is in no way a bad read. I found some parts hard to understand, but I was caught up within a few minutes. It does involve re-reading and your full attention.
The book is very outdated in terms of dialog. Obviously, nobody says "Where for art thou, mother?" in 2011. The most important aspect of a book is being able to read it and comprehend what it is telling you. Sometimes, that can be a task for current readers of the play. But with internet and technology at its peak I'm sure understanding it will be no problem.
I'm in no way bashing the book. I found it to be quite enjoyable and quite sad, but sometimes I kind of wish I knew what was happening instead of assuming. Still, the play is the grand-daddy of literature. I can except that, and I'm glad I read it.
With actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, and John Leguizamo I can only imagine how this film would've played out if it was made with some level of seriousness. It has been so long since we saw a new R&J adaptation, you'd think one would be remade again to fill the void.
What really kills this film, is the dialog. It keeps in place lots of Shakespeare speak. It is not only laughable, but questionable. First you want to completely modernize the film, then you want to keep the dialog. Maybe in someone's head it sounds pretty amusing, on film, it is atrocious and unable to take seriously. Especially when the film pans shots of some unnamed fat guy sitting on a lawnchair with no shirt on. Seriously?
Romeo + Juliet is definitely a unique adaptation, but it is absolutely a horrendous turnout. Anyone in school watching this will likely be amused by its quirky take on the play and find it way more entertaining than the play itself because of its more blatant style. Shakespeare fans will be greatly letdown by the film's mockery of the play's tragedy. It is definitely a stain on Leo's filmography, and the rest of the cast's.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo, Harold Perrineau, Pete Postlethwaite, Brian Dennehy, Paul Rudd, Christina Pickles, and Jesse Bradford. Directed by: Baz Luhrmann.