Saturday, October 4, 2014
Shakespeare Saturday: Romeo and Juliet
I'm a little late on this one but better late than never. A few weeks ago, AJ went back to Connecticut and I stayed behind in Boston for a few more days before joining him. One night while he was gone, I decided to have a date night with myself. I made a big bowl of popcorn, pulled up Netflix, and got ready to watch a movie I'd been wanting to see for almost a year! The newest big-screen adaption of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It came out in theaters last October and is directed by Carlo Carlei and stars Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth as the titular characters.
Romeo and Juliet is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays and I like to see how different people adapt it in different ways. This film's adaptation was really interesting! It did not get great reviews, they were really bad actually which is why I didn't see it in theaters. But it was still enjoyable and quite different than what I expected.
The first thing that jumped out at me was that they strayed from the original script. That's normal, though, for a film especially because if you include every word, that'll make for one long movie. And I think some directors and screenwriters like to add their own language in to make the wording a bit to make it a bit easier to understand. Of course, the verbiage was still true to the tone and fit in with the original language.
Also, Benvolio was given a much bigger role than usual. He was everywhere! And he seemed younger than he is typically portrayed. Paul Giamatti as Friar Laurence was genius. I'm so used to seeing him in comical or unlikable roles so I thought that maybe the Friar would be humorous in this film, but he was surprisingly perfect for this role. I think he had the best performance out of everyone. Also, the nurse, played by Lesley Manville was a great choice. She did add quite a bit humor and her character was very likable.
My favorite part of the film was the scenery. It was gorgeous! It probably wasn't extremely realistic, but it was quintessential Italian renaissance styling. There was so much detail to each scene, especially during the masked dance and during the balcony scene. I would watch it all over again just to see the scenery.
I didn't think the acting by the main characters was great but what can you do? If you like Shakespeare or Romeo and Juliet, you should watch this anyway. It's fun and, like I said, very pleasing to the eyes.