Romeo & Juliet

13 Oct

Romeo + Juliet

Ever since I was a child, I have always been fond of Romeo and Juliet. I remember the first time I was introduced to these star-crossed young lovers in my aunts family room. I was eight years old, me and my cousin had an admittedly embarrassing crush on a certain Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio. We would fast forward through the scenes Leo didn’t grace with his presence and giggle each time he professed his love to Claire Danes. Revisiting the Baz Luhrmann version as a teenager, it became by far my favourite adaptation of the Shakespearean classic. Β I was intrigued by the modernization of the story while retaining the original Shakespearean dialogue and infatuated by the soundtrack (Radiohead’s Talk Show Host anyone?).

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As a true fan, when I went to Italy I knew that Verona had to be on my go-to list. There, I visited the CasaΒ di Giulietta,Β and saw Juliet’s purported balcony and bronze statue.

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Juliet’s Balcony
Verona, Italy

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Bronze Statue of Juliet
Verona, Italy

Naturally, when I was invited to attend the prescreening of the new adaptation starring Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth, I jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately, this version of Romeo and Juliet failed to deliver. The film was drawn out and felt impossibly long. The score was overly dramatic verging on comical.

But most of all, the two leads had zero chemistry and failed to convince the audience of any passion. It was unsettling watching the fresh-faced Steinfeld (15) with the 20-year-old Booth. Steinfeld looked like she should be attending a One Direction concert, not delivering one of the most infamous soliloquies of all time.

Hailee

Romeo: Am I going to go to jail for kissing you?
Juliet: I’m going to be 14 in a fortnight.
*crickets*

No, no, no. It was all wrong. Poorly cast leads, unoriginal concept, and will fail to inspire a new generation of Shakespeare fans.

What did you think of the latest version of Romeo and Juliet?

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