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Romeo and Juliet


Roger Davidson

Romeo and Juliet
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The most recent film version of Shakespeare's classic play, this adaptation updates the bard to the here and now. Set in crime-ridden Verona Beach, the Montagues and Capulets are now corporate rivals, whose offspring are warring with each other. The worst of the lot is Tybalt (John Leguizamo), a greasy-haired gunslinger, who wishes for nothing but war between the two families. The youngest of the two families, Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Juliet (Claire Danes) fall in love, much to the dismay of both houses. Tragedy follows, when Leguizamo kills DiCaprio's best friend and DiCaprio does the same to Leguizamo out of revenge.

The idea of updating Shakespeare sounded interesting at the time, but it has some huge flaws. The overblown action scenes and the annoying MTV style cinematography are my two biggest complaints. It does have two good performances by DiCaprio and Danes, who capture the feel of adolescent love, but this production is nowhere near up to par with the 1968 film version. Parting is not such sweet sorrow, after you've sat through this.

My Rating = Two Stars

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