Monday, April 7, 2014

The Battle for Verona: Romeo & Juliet

With this newest version of one of Shakespeare's most popular plays hitting Red Boxes near you, I decided instead of a simple review we should discuss, like civil adults, which Romeo and Juliet is best... out of the three I've seen anyway.

Our first version is one I saw a long time ago. I saw it after I saw Baz Lurhmann's. You might recognize it as the one they watch in Twilight: Eclipse. It is often referred to as "The 60's one," because it was made in '68. It was done very well, and many people refer to it as "the best." Although, since I hardly remember it, I'll just say I do remember liking it a lot.

Our second version is Baz Lurhmann's 1996 masterpiece starring Claire Danes, Leonardo DiCaprio, Paul Rudd, John Leguizamo, Lost's Harold Perrineau, Pete Postlethwaite, and even has Jamie Kennedy in there. It's an amazing cast. It might have aired before Leo learned how to act, but Lurhmann's styling, attention to detail, and the way he captures important moments, make up for it. Because it's set in the present, and because it stars Mr. DiCaprio, it gets a bad rap. People are afraid to admit that this movie is amazing, captivating, ground breaking, and beautiful.

Our third version is the monstrosity that is this 2013 version. It stars True Grit's Oscar Nominee Hailee Steinfeld as boring Juliet, and Keira Knightly as Romeo. Oh, wait, what? You mean that wasn't Keira Knightly!? I guess I'll take your word for it. Apparently Romeo is played by a dude, and his name is Douglas Booth. Stellan Skarsgard plays the Prince, and Paul Giamatti plays Friar Lawrence. I didn't know he was in this movie and when he showed up I shouted, "WHAT IS PAUL GIAMATTI DOING THIS?" He's far too talented to be throwing his lot in with the likes of this movie, as is Mr. Skarsgard.

This movie had no character appreciation. Mercucio is the life of the party! He's funny! He's ALIVE! (Well, at least for the first half of the play.) But he nor any of the other would-be-interesting characters had... well, CHARACTER! Shakespeare is king of interesting supporting characters. But you wouldn't know it watching this movie.

And the movie is one big flat line. A movie should have ups and downs; especially a tragedy!

Tragedy indeed... for all who watched it.

1 comment:

  1. That aside on Mercucio made me laugh! This is so sad, I almost want to watch it to see how bad it is. Maybe when it makes its way to Netflix.