In the city of Verona, two families have a prolonged and ancient feud. The Montagues and the Capulets co-exist under the stern eye of the Prince, but the hatred between the families threatens all, in particular the children. The young men of both families are hot-blooded and ready to fight at any provocation, despite the Prince's edict against such fights. But when young Romeo, a Montague, first sets eyes on the virginal Capulet daughter Juliet, no enmity between families can prevent his falling in love with her, and her with him. From this risk-laden romance comes both joy and tragedy for all. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
From time to time, a film director decides to adapt Shakespeare's plays. In all fairness, it's great stuff and deserves to be taken to the screen. However, when this happens, the people (particularly those whose mother tongue is English) don't like it and have great difficulty in understanding that, when a book is adapted to cinema, it has to be adapted or adjusted. Its a necessary job, and does not spare any book or author. It can be hard to accept, especially for the purists, who see Shakespeare as a kind of untouchable "sacred cow", but the truth is that cinema can be based on literature but its not literature. I say this because I realized that this film was the target of massive criticism for the way the book was adapted. The writers were so incompetent? They cut something important to the understanding of the story? They have profoundly altered it? No. But they sought to adapt the text a little, for dramatic purposes. The essential was there, untouched, and this does not shock me. This is cinema, not theater, and people have to understand that the public goes to the cinema to see a movie, not a recorded play. Do you want the original text, ipsis litteris? Read the book or go see the play. Cinema is concerned in keeping the story, not the text. Almost all movies are so, this is no different. Now let's talk about the movie.
The movie is interesting, keeps the essence of the original story, but changes the dialogues and interpretation, abandoning the artificial tone of Shakespearean theater and taking a more natural posture. The idea is good, its a breath of fresh air, but I think the posture adopted is too "XX century" and something is missing in the way the characters act that remind us the fifteenth century. One of the most reprehensible things is the amount of kisses and touches. This does not fit the historical period depicted, much more puritanical than ours. The actors did a decent job, engaged and committed to the story itself. Douglas Booth was by far the best Romeo I've seen in the movies, much more credible than Leo was in "Romeo + Juliet". Hailee Steinfeld was not bad either, but her acting has seemed a little forced in some scenes. Everything else is absolutely impeccable: the bright, colorful picture is magnificent, in harmonious combination with the great scenery and locations chosen for filming, and that depict faithfully what have been Verona during this time. The costumes also fit into the historical period and are exquisite. The soundtrack, discrete but present, fulfills her role with great skill.
Far from being a bad movie, this movie will never be understood by the public who are not able to see the difference between literature, theater and cinema. Despite some minor flaws, the film is well done and does not deserve at all, in my opinion, the severe criticism it has received.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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