Romeo and Juliet (2013)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Greatest love story?

William Shakespeare was one of the most famous authors out there. In fact, he’d consider himself a poet, which he was. He told stories through poems that are considered today to be some of the best ones out there, told over and over again throughout time. Romeo and Juliet is one of his most famous stories that we have all heard of before, even though he himself didn’t come up with the story. Arthur Brooke wrote Romeus and Juliet back in 1562, which was almost exactly the same story, two years before Shakespeare was even born. Just a little fun trivia fact for all you youngsters out there. For whatever reason Romeo and Juliet has and will forever be linked to Shakespeare for his ability to tell a story through his immaculate dialogue. We have seen other interpretations of this same story before several times, so what separates this from the rest?

To answer that, let’s first talk about the plot. You should already know the plot, but not everyone does. Romeo and Juliet is considered the greatest love story ever told, and it is about Romeo, a young man who lives in the house of Montague. Juliet lives in the house of Capulet, and these two houses have been feuding…people are dying left and right…they are basically sworn enemies of each other. That’s why Romeo and Juliet’s love is really forbidden, but that doesn’t stop them from getting married in secret. That’s when some crazy things happen, Romeo gets banished, and well…you should figure out the rest.

Let me first state the official complaint people have about this movie. I say official because this is something mostly accepted by virtually every critic out there. Now, this complaint is that the writers of the film don’t always stick to Shakespeare’s famous dialogue. They keep key sonnets and monologues in there, but squeeze in their own dialogue throughout the film. Oh cry me a river. Who cares? It is traditional to have a Shakespeare play and film have the same dialogue, yes, but again I have to favor creative freedom on this one. In the end, Romeo and Juliet is a story, and a story that can be told in a million different ways. I personally saw this film as offering a different interpretation in order to connect with a wider audience. Not everyone can follow a Shakespeare play. What this film did was ever so slightly…offer those confused viewers a way to follow the story better, which I am all for. I personally know the story well, but I know that there are those that just…don’t. The rest of the film is intact as far as being true to the story goes. That is what should be important.

I’ll now move onto what I consider my personal complaints about the film. Romeo and Juliet is supposed to be the greatest love story ever told, so basically…I consider the most important element to be the love part…the chemistry. Did they pick the right actors, did they do a good job, did they have chemistry? Right actors – for the most part yes. I think the guy playing Romeo was perfect, but I think Juliet could have been played by a different actress. Do they do a good job? Acting-wise, yes, they did a great job. Chemistry – no. Chemistry is key in any love story, and I’m sorry but for the most part I didn’t feel it. I’m inclined to prefer Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo + Juliet because his chemistry with Claire Danes was amazing. Heh…two different Romeo and Juliet films with two Homeland actors…anyways back to the review. I didn’t feel the chemistry as well as I should have for a “greatest love story ever told”, therefore, it’s not all that great. Without that chemistry, you stop believing everything you’re seeing, and the film starts feeling really long.

On the upside, we haven’t really had a Romeo and Juliet film take us back to the roots since the ‘60s. Same setting, more or less paying tribute to Shakespeare…in a way that’s really cool, and a better variation that I would have preferred to see when I was in school. When I was in school, I had to watch the ’68 film, which isn’t that great because old British films have the same quality of really old American films…not that great. This is really good alternative, but other than that, there’s no big need to watch it.

The Good:

Romeo and Juliet takes us back to the roots of Shakespeare’s famous love story, and it’s a version I wouldn’t mind schools using as an upgrade to the ’68 film.

The Bad:

There wasn’t much chemistry from the title characters, and yes…it derives from Shakespeare’s dialogue…I don’t really care that it derives but most people do, that’s why it’s in “The Bad”.

Memorable Quote:

Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou Romeo? (Sorry, had to)

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