“Give me my Romeo. And when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, he will make the face of heaven so fine, that all the world will be in love with night, and pay no worship to the garish sun.”
As you might of guessed by that opening quote, I just watched Romeo and Juliet, and, well, it was satisfactory. The end credits are rolling on the screen whilst I type, and the classical music seeping with lament is playing in the background.
Although there was a lot of kissing, to my annoyance, I believe Julian Fellowes did a fairly superb job with this film: the casting was nearly on-point, with Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfield both shining in their performance, along with Ed Westwick as Tybalt and of course the rest of the star-studded cast, the set designs were marvelous ( I found myself staring at the beautiful architecture)more than the actual actors), the music played throughout the film fit perfectly with it’s allocated scene- to cut a long story short, it was everything I expected it to be.
Now, it begins with a jousting event where we see Tybalt (Westwick) and Mercutio (Cooke) competing against one another, Mercutio wins much to the Capulets’ displeasure. This then, as common with the Montagues and the Capulets, starts a brawl between the two families. The Prince of Verona gives them a clear warning , after which they all take their leave.
Next we see Benvolio (Smit-McPhee) with Romeo (Booth) who is still hung over his first love Rosaline, little does he know that later that day after an encounter with a servant of the Capulets, he attends a ball at their residence where, as fickle as he is, his love for Rosaline is directed to another masked girl. This being Juliet (Steinfield.) Immediately they fall in love, and he has to leave, as the Capulets have found out, then he can’t stop thinking about her and sneaks back in, they share many kisses on her balcony, and bid each other goodnight.
But this is where it starts, the fatal turn of events which will change the fate of all of them.
The Nurse (Manville) and Friar Laurence (Giamatti) make wedding plans for the star-crossed lovers, they in turn are now legally- yet secretly, married, leaving them the happiest youths in the world. However, Tybalt is not done with Romeo since the ball and demands for a fight, but Romeo being the gentleman he is, and now being related to him, says no. But Mercutio, being the daredevil, agrees, so another, more violent brawl begins in which Tybalt slays Mercutio– in Romeo’s arms. Romeo, in his rage, hunts down Tybalt and kills him to avenge the death of his best friend. Little does he know, this leaves him in a predicament that there is no way out of. The Prince banishes Romeo from Verona, and the death of Tybalt causes Juliet’s father, Lord Capulet (Lewis) and her mother, Lady Capulet (McElhone) almost force her into marrying the noble Count Paris (Wisdom). This brings Juliet immense grief therefore the Friar calls upon Romeo to stay with his wife one last night (but Hailee was only 14 when filmed so no nudity thank God). And now the great plan unfolds: the Friar would give Juliet a vile that, once drank on the night before her wedding, will ensure that there is no sign of life in her, a letter would be sent to Romeo of this, he will return to Verona, wake her with a kiss, and they will ride of into the sunset together. It’s all very cliched- hence why it didn’t work.
And I’m sure you all know what happens after that- if not, I’ll leave you to it to watch the film, I mean, for heaven’s sake, I’ve already told you of two of the major deaths!
I’ve studied Romeo and Juliet, and even watched the adaption starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes, which is why I wasn’t entirely pleased that they didn’t stick to Shakespeare’s original script as well as that film. But, it was good, and did reach out to it’s audience of viewers, they hit the nail right on the head. Although many critics didn’t even give the film an average rating of 5, I thought it to be a beautiful adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.
” For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
P.S. It’s safe to say that all our Romeo’s are drop dead gorgeous- and our Juliet’s naturally pretty.