Does This Romeo And Juliet Clip Do Shakespeare's Language Justice?

By Nick Venable 2013-09-25 00:41:20discussion comments
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Iím not sure how to properly convey how alienated I am by each look I get at Carlos Carleiís upcoming adaptation of William Shakespeareís Romeo and Juliet for Relativity Media. Iíll crap all over a kidís movie and a terrible action comedy, because I can fit myself into those demographics without too much trouble. But I am completely frozen by teen angst when I watch the clip seen above, via Yahoo! Movies, and I can't be the only one

Iím still weary of the dialogue butchering done in Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowesí screenplay. Not that I see Fellowes as the butcher, but I donít understand adapting a Shakespeare play and only meeting the source material halfway when it comes to the dialogue. Though Iím no elite Shakespeare enthusiast, Romeo and Juliet is my least favorite of his works that Iím familiar with, and I always hope that each rendition gives me something that wows me to accompany the dialogue. For all of the ways in which Baz Luhrmannís 1996 modernization Romeo + Juliet diverged from the plot, it maintained much of the Bardís words in a truly badass setting. You can watch a thousand movies to get a plot that resembles a Shakespeare play (which were mostly versions of preexisting stories), but itís the precise language that makes them unique.

And so watching this pretty classic scene, where Douglas Boothís hooded Romeo spouts off in shadow, standing next to a fountain that is also spouting off in shadow, Iím not entirely convinced that this guy even likes this girl. Perhaps itís because this scene isnít nearly as overly theatrical as most of the footage in the trailers. A lack of Paul Giamattiís stern hollers is enough to make any scene feel lacking. And maybe itís because Iím not very familiar with Boothís work and havenít quite worked out his appeal yet beyond having a handsome face. But I can't imagine him being the "Romeo of my generation," as lame of a title as that is.

The same goes for Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet, really. She was great in True Grit, and she looks like she can handle the unrequited lover role with ease, but itís all just my 30-year-old male conjecture until the entire film comes out and proves me right or wrong. Let me know if you guys think Iím justified for being wary, or if Iím just a stuck-up non-romantic for not swooning along with these star-crossed lovers. Wherefore art thou, those who have my back?

Iím saying it right now, though. If the most exciting part of this movie is watching Booth and Ed Westwick get into a sword fight, Iím going to also get in on that poison drinking business.

See glimpses of that scene in the trailer below, along with looks at the rest of the star-studded cast, including Damian Lewis, Natascha McElhone, Stellan SkarsgŚrd, Christian Cooke, Laura Morante, Tomas Arana and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Romeo and Juliet will lovingly hit theaters on October 11.

romeo and juliet poster
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