By Hannah Krieger
Shakespeare’s most iconic play, “Romeo and Juliet,” once again graces the silverscreen in a recent remake. I was pleasantly surprised with this rendition of the play. The movie stayed very true to the script and followed the play almost exactly, with just a few minor deviations that did not upset the overall plot or meaning of the story.
I would like to point out, however, that the play “Romeo and Juliet” itself is very flawed. It is impossible to think that audiences are supposed to believe that Romeo and Juliet were forever dedicated to and were ready to die for each other after only knowing each other for a few hours. Oh, and did I mention Juliet is only 13? So, yes, the plot line is slightly ridiculous, but the play is still interesting to read, or in this case watch.
The movie stayed true (mostly) to the original language of Shakespeare’s play. However, it did not sound cheesy or ridiculous, but fit the movie in a rather appropriate manner. I literally felt that in most of the scenes I could easily follow along with the play. The movie brought the play to life in vibrant colors, beautiful sets and strong actors that portrayed their characters quite accurately.
The actors and actresses did a phenomenal job and made the movie as convincing as it could be. I don’t think enough praise can be given to actress Hailee Steinfeld (Juliet). She portrayed Juliet in a very innocent, charming and even likable manner. Douglas Booth played Romeo very accurately as a foolish, lovesick and wimpy young man. For example, he sculpts instead of participating in the street fights between the Capulets and the Montagues.
However, he still presented an undeniable charm that led the audience to fall in love with the couple of Romeo and Juliet. Praise must also be given to Mercutio (Christian Cooke) and Tybalt (Ed Westwick), who strongly represented their characters.
The sets were simple and yet well done. They brought Verona to life, but the movie was mainly focused on the actors rather than the setting. The costumes, make-up and hair were all elaborately done and added an enchanting quality to the film. Although most of the pieces probably did not look authentic from that time, the movie managed to pull it off with grace and poise.
I think what really needs to be remembered is that “Romeo and Juliet” was supposed to be a play. With that being said, it seems a bit too glamorous to have it be made into a movie when it would have benefited the stage much better. However, everything about the movie was aesthetically appealing and there is really nothing to be upset about except the storyline that the movie had to work with.
All in all, it would serve as a great visual guide to one of Shakespeare’s most tragic plays. This movie would definitely be enjoyable if rented on DVD.