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DVD review: Romeo and Juliet: The most famous romance story gets a facelift.

Romeo and Juliet


Romeo and Juliet is a lavish, beautiful renovation of one of the most famous romances’ in history. It’s a modern recreation of the classic story of the star crossed lovers by William Shakespeare. The movie originally debuted in October of 2013. It recently arrived on video. The film stars Haillee Stanfield (Ender’s Game), Douglas Booth (Noah), Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spiderman 2), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In), Stellan Skarsgard (Thor: The Dark World), Christian Cooke (Cemetery Junction), and Ed Westwick (J Edgar).
Romeo and Juliet is a story that has been told over a million times and is easily one of the most recognizable stories in the world. It aptly captures the essence of the play and stays very true to the source material. This new version of the story is done exceptionally well. It infuses a number of small aspects to help distinguish itself from the other versions of the story. First, it’s one of the few retellings of this story that I have seen that really focuses on how innocent and care free the romance between the two begins. This version truly focuses the innocence of the two young lovers and how intense it became so quickly. It does contain the same heavy dialogue that stays true to the source material but it is one of its biggest detractors for the film since that makes it very hard to follow. If you’re not a huge fan or then this aspect of this new iteration will clearly make this movie lose some of its entertainment value. Second, it really focuses on how much the two families really hate one another. That is as much of the tale as the romance and this version really expresses that better than most.
The appearance of the film is without question the most impressive aspect of it; the actors, the location, and of course the clothing. Everything is lavish, elegant, and very chic. The look of the film is spot on. It easily helps you to lose yourself in this movie. All of the aspects are delicately interwoven together which quickly whisk its viewer on a path into yesteryear. Douglass Booth and Halliee Stanfield make and great Romeo and Juliet. Both are very attractive and fit the ideal appearance of what Romeo and Juliet would look like. Both have innocence to them with draws you into the story more. It also has some impressive veterans such as Paul Giamatti and Stellan Skarsgard who both make appearances.
How can you possible go wrong with a story that has been told so many times? This new version of Romeo and Juliet feels more like a play than a film. This incarnation of the world renowned romance gives a visual representation to a new generation of viewers. As with every remake/retelling, this will be compared to some others. I have never seen the actual play of Romeo and Juliet nor have I seen the acclaimed 1968 version. I did see the Baz Lurman 1996 film and personally, I don’t think this one outdoes that one with Leonardio De Caprio version but it is enjoyable nonetheless. Consequently, this may not be the best version of the tale but it has some great aspects to it. For example, the death of the two cousins Mercutio and Tibalt is played out fantastically. That is one of the best depictions of that scene that I have witnessed. It really gave life to this version. I liked Douglass Booth and Haliee Stanfield as well. They really looked the part of the two lovers. If you are a devout fan of Romeo and Juliet then this may not be the film for you, however, if you’ve never seen the films or would like to watch a good retelling of the story then you should check this out. Not a must see but it’s clearly worthy of a onetime viewing.