Reviews and Problems with Romeo & Juliet (1996)
Showing 1-8 of 8
Movie overall 4
Romeo and Juliet Blu-ray Review
8 February 2014
Conclusion: Romeo and Juliet is incredibly handsome, and perhaps that visual acuity will be enough to recommend the film to some. But anyone who knows, let alone loves , Shakespeare's immortal text is going to spend large swaths of this film silently muttering to themselves, "Hey, what about [fill in the blank for any given missing text]". Fellowes, one of the most talented writers currently working, should have known better.
Excerpt: As evidenced by everything from Julie Taymor's Titus to Baz Luhrmann's virtuoso Romeo + Juliet , Shakespearean updates often express a sense of zeitgeist-y obligation, a tonal and stylistic responsibility to maximally engage with the (preferably youthful) populace. It's surprising, then, that this umpteenth iteration of the Bard's ultimate tragedy doesn't kowtow to the swoony disciples of Bella Swan and Katniss Everdeen, but instead plays it utterly straight.
Excerpt: Romeo and Juliet experienced a weird post-modern revival in the late 90s, in the form of Baz Luhrmann's wild and lavish adaptation as well as Shakespeare in Love , which used the hoary old story as the backdrop for a new, slightly less tragic romance. As a teenager of the late 90s I automatically pity the teens these days who didn't learn Romeo & Juliet that way, but I swear it's not just 90s nostalgia that had me squirming and yawning all the way through this new...
Excerpt: Shakespeare movies don’t get more unremarkable than Romeo & Juliet , an adaptation of the English language’s most-butchered love story produced and financed by glass-jewelry manufacturer Swarovski. Directed by Carlo Carlei— whose last theatrical release was the 1995 “Matthew Modine is reincarnated as a dog” movie Fluke —the adaptation is a hodge-podge of bad clichés from Shakespeare movies and sappy romantic imagery.
Conclusion: If this is at times a trifle staid and chaste for some viewers' tastes, it's a remarkably faithful recreation of one of MacMillan's hallmark pieces of choreography. Athletically danced by Acosta, and with a tragically lyrical turn by Rojo, this Romeo and Juliet offers visual and aural delights that should enrapture a whole new generation of audiences.
Summary: William Shakespeare's classic romance has been made into a musical ( West Side Story ), an animation ( Gnomeo and Juliet ) and MTV (Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet ), among other things, so it's hard to know where's left for it to go onscreen. More Adapted by Downton Abbey 's Julian Fellowes, and set among Italy's sun-dappled – but strangely empty – palazzos, Carlo Carlei's traditional take seems to be aimed at teachers planning an end of term 'treat' for bored tweenage...