When two young members of feuding families meet, forbidden love ensues.When two young members of feuding families meet, forbidden love ensues.When two young members of feuding families meet, forbidden love ensues.
Easily the best Shakespeare film in history, mainly because it stays so true to what Shakespeare wrote and was undoubtedly his vision, yet is undeniably fresh and relevant and affecting, despite its Renaissance setting. It feels more modern and current than the soulless bluster of Baz Luhrmann's effort. Whosoever says Whiting and Hussey are anything short of fantastic as Romeo and Juliet needs to reconsider how they want Shakespeare acted. Do you want dramatic bluster and fist waving (which Hamlet specifically cautions against) or true raw emotion and feeling? These actors, mostly because they were so inexperienced, couldn't be more natural and true to their characters every step of the way. You truly believe that they are in love and it's a legitimate love, no just "crazy teens." And the rest of the cast - Jesus H. Christ! They're all fantastic. The Friar and Nurse were obscenely perfect, becoming among the most endearing characters ever filmed, and of course John McEnery is the best, most pathos-laden Mercutio ever, all stage, screen, TV, etc. renditions included. Michael York is a fabulous Tybalt, menacing, arrogant, headstrong, cruel, but ultimately sympathetic. Tybalt is after all just a petulant child - he's no evil tyrant, just a misguided bully, who certainly doesn't deserve to die. I love that his killing of Mercutio is accidental and that he seems to show remorse for it. Even the Prince is really damn good, with his last lines leaving an absolutely chilling impression on the audience. All are punish-ed! A must see.
- Jul 13, 2005
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