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Romeo and Juliet (2013) - Julian Fellowes Adapts an Iconic Romantic Tragedy

Romeo and Juliet

Hello, readers. So, here's the thing. I have a boatload of reviews that are meant for publication here, on Finding Wonderland, but right now, I have to write them before that can happen. This is why, I decided to reshare something from Silver Petticoat today.

The feature? Julian Fellowes adaptation of an iconic story we all know. I won't go so far as to say we all love said story given that I am not a big fan of its tragic prose, but then, I am willing to see past some of this to enjoy the beauty that is the 2013 re-make of Romeo and Juliet.

I reviewed this one months ago (in the interest of accuracy, I can confirm the month was February), but never got around to sharing it here. Today, I decided to do just so today, and will hopefully have more new reviews next week. In the meantime, you can find the review snippet below and of course, I'd gladly enjoy reading your thoughts on this most recent reimagining of the Shakespeare classic.

Romeo and Juliet (2013) – Shakespeare’s Iconic Love Story with a Julian Fellowes Script

Romeo and Juliet

Given how successful Julian Fellowes has been thanks to the ITV drama Downton Abbey, it is little wonder he would rewrite a classic piece of tragedy and romance such as Romeo and Juliet. Though it has been re-told in many forms, I’d wager none have been done quite so prettily as this.

The classic lovers are played by young British actor Douglas Booth and the talented Hailee Steinfeld. Though the story is all the same as the classic Shakespeare play, the new adaptation (with a twist) introduces a new generation to the young Romeo, enthralled with the beautiful daughter of his family’s sworn enemy. Promised to a young nobleman named Paris, Juliet too is struck with love when she sees Romeo. Together, with promises of love and hope for a future not of their respective families making, they shape their own temporary piece of heaven. Continue Reading »

2 comments

  1. As a self-professed Shakespeare fan, while I can very easily understand the aversions people have to this play in the ordinary light of day, I invariably always get swept up into the achingly beautiful romance and bittersweet tragedy of this story every single time. Having seen the three most recent versions as well as a brilliant live stage play, although all four have their good and bad points, if pressed I would have to name this 2013 film as my favourite. Not only, as you said, are the aesthetics just gorgeous all-round, particularly the costumes and architecture, but the cast is also fantastic; I especially liked the actors they cast as Benvolio and Mercutio.

    As for the changes to the original language, in my first viewing I actually didn't notice it at all. In fact, several of the more unique changes they employed I really enjoyed, such as putting the feud in a bit more context by establishing an annual contest between the families. Though the dance scene is definitely one of my favorites as well (and hey, it’s another possible entry for your second Memorable Romantic Dance Scenes Post!), I think I was most impressed by Hailee Steinfeld in the scene where she finds out Tybalt is dead.

    Another thing I appreciated is that Rosalind is given more screen time than I think she’s ever had, as well as the fact that they included Paris and Romeo’s sword fight. Speaking of Paris, what did you think of him in this adaptation?

    God Bless
    Eleanor Rose

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    Replies
    1. I understand this being a classic, Eleanor and am glad those who love it can find something to enjoy about it. The romance IS indeed beautiful. For me, it's simply a tragedy because of the sad way the characters pull themselves apart until it fatally wounds them.

      Beyond that, yes, I thought this is a beautiful film. The story is well told and of course, the script is lovely (despite the language barrier which I've never quite been able to get back - all those "thees" and "thous"!). I'm so glad you enjoyed this adaptation. The complexity with which the script breaks down the feud is good, I agree.

      Do you know, I *think* this is the only adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Therefore I don't really know what to think of Paris. But I did think the sword fight was story-appropriate intense which I loved. Beyond that? The entire cast was amazing! Hailee's a really good actress and I liked Douglas as well as the supporting cast in these roles. Did you like Paris?

      So glad you shared your thoughts, Eleanor! Always glad to chat with you.

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