Romeo and Juliet (2013)
dir. Carlo Carlei
Perhaps one of Shakespeare’s most well-known, if not most in depth and well-written, plays Romeo and Juliet returns to the big screen in Julian Fellowes’s 2013 adaptation. In an attempt to remain true to the traditional roots of the play, the movie script uses Shakespeare’s own words. This choice, at first, may seem like a sound one. After all, why not remain faithful to Shakespeare’s words especially since many of those lines are quite famous nowadays? Yet, the mash up of Shakespearean text and an attempt at modernity had the adverse effect of coming across as disconcerting to a modern viewer.
I sat in a movie theater with high school students more focused on the actors playing the famously star-crossed lovers, Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld, both of whom seemed to stumble over Shakespeare’s rhythmic lines. On top of that, the famous lovers were, sadly, not the main call of the movie. In fact, their acting was quite flat and the characters lacked personality and originality. (A. Ramsmaroop, November, 2013)