10 March 2014 | khanbaliq2
A traditional film adaptation of a famous play that can be easily embraced by a new generation.
If Hailee Steinfeld is in a movie then I will definitely see that movie. The young actress made an impressive debut in True Grit (2010), but then took a 3 year break from acting. In 2013 she had a role in Ender's Game, a science fiction action thriller that's definitely worth seeing. She also had a role in Romeo And Juliet, a straightforward film adaptation of William Shakespeare's romantic tragedy that works thanks to the actors and the screenplay. Julian Fellowes wrote a screenplay that makes the film interesting for a new generation of viewers. Changing some of the play's dialogue may be unacceptable for some people, but what we get here is a manageable story with the poetic dialogue intact. It works well in the film. Carlo Carlei can be praised for his direction because the film doesn't lose pace or interest. Carlei makes the dramatic scenes work, especially at the end when Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet have to make difficult decisions because of unfortunate circumstances. The cast deliver the dialogue well. Steinfeld was 17 when the film was released, but she projects maturity and makes Juliet a tragic figure. Douglas Booth allegedly beat out 300 other actors for the part of Romeo. He's 4 years older than Steinfeld, and the romance between the two isn't as good as it should be, but they are an appealing young pair. It's Paul Giamatti, playing Friar Laurence, who's most comfortable with the poetic dialogue however. I like that Romeo And Juliet was filmed in Italy, including in Verona, where Shakespeare's tragedy is set. Franco Zeffirelli's terrific 1968 film was a big hit with a similar approach to the material. Carlei's Romeo And Juliet wasn't a repeat of that phenomenon but it's still a solid film that can easily appeal even to teenagers. I recommend it.