run time: 118 mins
considered: Drama, Romance
starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgard, Ed Westwick, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Christian Cooke, Lesley Manville
movie summary: Romeo and Juliet secretly wed despite the sworn contempt their families hold for each another. It is not long, however, before a chain of fateful events changes the lives of both families forever. (www.imdb.com)
my thoughts: There is not much to say, that hasn’t already been said, about the greatest love story ever told. According to IMDb this 2013 version of Romeo and Juliet would be the seventh movie production of the classic William Shakespeare play.
Hailee Steinfeld stars as Juliet Capulet, the princess in waiting, who falls in love with a masked man at a masquerade ball. The man behind the mask is Romeo Montague (Douglas Booth), who happens to be the son of her family’s arch-enemies. The pair fall madly in love and vow to secretly get married within a few days of meeting. They approach Friar Laurence (Paul Giamatti) who agrees to hold the ceremony.
Juliet’s cousin Tybalt (Ed Westwick) can’t believe Romeo was at the ball, hunts him down, and challenges him to a duel. Tybalt kills Romeo’s cousin Mercutio (Christian Cooke) so in turn Romeo kills Tybalt. Within hours the news of the slayings reaches the Prince (Stellan Skarsgard) who banishes Romeo out of the city. He goes to the country side where he must wait Juliet to join him.
Mourning for her cousin and husband, Juliet’s parent decide that she must marry a future Prince named Peter. She refuses and her father threatens to disown her. She runs to Friar Laurence for help and he provides her with a potion that will kill her. Juliet will appear dead to everyone, but will wake up in six days, with Romeo at her side. Later that night Juliet drinks the potion and is dead. Romeo’s other cousin Benvolio (Kodi Smit-McPhee) sees her dead body and races to Romeo and tell him the news.
Romeo can’t believe his true love is dead, so he obtains his own deadly poison. He travels to Juliet’s tomb, where he proceeds to kill himself and lay at her side. Juliet wakes up as soon as Romeo puts the bottle down and the effects start to kick in. Together they share one last passionate kiss before Juliet takes his sword and ends her own life.
Friar Laurence breaks down upon discovering both of them have killed themselves. He sent Romeo a letter detailing what has happened, that Juliet has taken a potion and will be awake in six days. The messenger never delivered the letter, so Romeo decided to take his own life than live without Juliet. After watching her beloved husband die in her arms, Juliet sacrificed herself and be with him for eternity.
The feuding Capulet and Montague families finally put their differences aside after the tragedy and promise to live in peace from then on.
This version of Romeo and Juliet is really bad in many different aspects. First, the interaction between the leading couple just isn’t passionate enough. Second, the story features regular dialogue mixed in with Shakespearean play dialogue, sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t. Finally, the story is presented in such a boring tone. At two hours in length, many parts of the story are dragged out to fill screen time. I honestly feel bad for everyone in the cast, who put hard work into their characters only to have the final product be as bad as it is. There will be a lot of criticism towards this movie, but there are few positives, like the great detail that went into the scenery, costumes, and music.
My advice is wait to watch this for free on Netflix.
my rating: 2 out 10