There was nothing on TV, that I haven’t seen a gazillion-times, so I ended up catching the last hour and a half of Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet while waiting for AVPR to come on. While Romeo and Juliet is one of my favourite articles of Shakespeare, I’ve avoided watching R+J for years: the attempt at mixing a modern setting with the classic dialog, just makes me scratch my head and wonder what on earth they were thinking lol.
While much of the setting (but not the poetry) is fairly easy to translate to the 1990s, not everything quiet an fit so well; not to mention being condensed!
I feel that Lord Capulet’s commandment for Juliet to marry Paris, would simply be lost on a modern audience; at least in the States. Not only is arranged marriage simply not done, Capulet’s order would nether hold in court of law nor communal practice here; in a modern setting, it would also have effectively solved all but the family feud!
Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!
I tell thee what: get thee to church o’ Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face:
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me;
My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blest
That God had lent us but this only child;
But now I see this one is one too much,
And that we have a curse in having her:
Out on her, hilding!
— Act III, Scene V of the play; as rendered in my archived copy.
Friar Laurences use of a postal service was a nice touch, but the ending was somewhat “Lacking”, perhaps I’m just spoiled? The only good thing I can say, is they were so kind as to censor Juliets death—should we say that an ACP round to the temple is likely to be a lot messier then a dagger! I really don’t care uch for the film, just not my cup of tea. Since the goal was to pass time until Aliens versus Predator Requiem came on (which is closer to my style), I suppose that was a success :/. Alternatives would have been Tremors or the Last Action Hero; all of which I have seen much of over the past couple years.
I still remember the first time I read Shakespeare’s play, a good friend had recommended it as a potential source for inspiration. While it yielded none, it was however a good read; Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet are two of my favourites. I have however, never cared for any of the film renditions of Hamlet. And quite purposefully, I’m not familiar with any of the formal adoptions of R&J to the big screen.
Why, Romeo, art thou mad?
Not mad, but bound more than a mad-man is;
Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
Whipp’d and tormented and–God-den, good fellow.
— Act I, Scene II