Separated by a garden fence and a feud, are blue gnomes on one side and red gnomes on the other. This doesn't stop blue Gnomeo and red Juliet from falling in love with each other. Do they have a future together?
Garden gnomes Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) have as many obstacles to overcome as their quasi namesakes when they are caught up in a feud between neighbors. But with plastic pink flamingos and lawnmower races in the mix, can this young couple find lasting happiness?Written by
Walt Disney Pictures
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Gnomeo and Juliet is the latest re-imagining of Shakespeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet . I will admit that I didn't go into this film with high hopes, but while its not an instant classic, I was pleasantly surprised.
Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean...
The film begins with an amusing homage to these lines, before we really get into it. The garden gnomes of two neighbouring backyards, the Red Gnomes and the Blue Gnomes, have an ongoing rivalry as to who's garden is best. They constantly try to sabotage each other and dislike each other immensely. After a lawnmower race in which Tybalt the Red gnome (voice of Jason Statham) beats the Blue gnome Gnomeo (voice of James McAvoy), Gnomeo and sidekick Benny decide to sneak in by night and vandalise the Red's garden. Meanwhile Juliet (Emily Blunt), protected and thought too fragile by her father Lord Redbrick, is desperate to prove she is otherwise. Gnomeo and Juliet meet, and the rest is history as they say.
Of course, the film can't follow the original play exactly - this is a kids movie! It's not a tragedy, it's a comedy. This is where I expected to be let down - I honestly didn't think I would find it funny, but I'm glad to say for the most part, I found this film charming and funny. It could have been funnier, but the younger audience will love it, which is the important thing I suppose.
Shakespeare fans will have fun spotting the little references to the Bard's works (including a cleverly worked in quote from Macbeth of all plays). I did. For instance, the owner of the Blue Gnomes is Miss Montague (Romeo's family in the play), while the owner of the Red's is Mr. Capulet (Juliet's last name). The owners themselves hate each other. Spotting the celebrity voices is fun too. Michael Caine is Lord Redbrick, Maggie Smith is Lady Bluebury (I didn't notice this) - I particularly enjoyed Patrick Stewarts brief appearance as a statue of Shakespeare, with whom Gnomeo has a brief conversation. Shakespeare was a smug guy. The voices were all well cast, and the animation is of a good quality.
Complimented with a fun Elton John soundtrack (he was an executive producer, go figure), this film is enjoyable, and a good one for the kiddilinks.
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