The latest movie adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” begins with a fight between the Montagues and the Capulets in the streets of “fair Verona, where we lay our scene.” There has been a long-standing rivalry between these two families who don’t even know why they are fighting anymore. During the fight, the prince of Verona yells at them for fighting and disturbing the peace. The next time they are caught fighting, they will die, the prince warns.
Romeo (Douglas Booth), a Montague, is first seen working on a piece of artwork when Benvolio comes in to see why Romeo is so sad. Romeo, who is in love with a girl named Rosaline, is upset because he doesn’t believe that Rosaline loves him back. Benvolio suggests they go to a party given by the Capulets so he can show Romeo girls much better than Rosaline. The Capulets are hosting the party so that their daughter, Juliet (Hailee Steinfeld), can get to know Paris, who is planning on marrying on her.
Romeo arrives at the party with Benvolio and Mercutio, and has his eyes set on Rosaline, until he sees Juliet make her entrance into the ballroom in a beautiful blue dress and mask. For Romeo and Juliet, it is love at first sight, and then they realize they have each fallen in love with an enemy. However, they still decide to be married, and Friar Laurence (Paul Giamatti) marries them the day after the party.
After the wedding, Romeo is confronted by Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, who wants to fight him. One thing leads to another, and Romeo is sent into exile by the prince. Since Romeo and Juliet’s wedding was a secret, her parents continue to plan a wedding for her and Paris. Friar Laurence helps her to fake her death so she can run away with Romeo.
The film is incredible. From the scenery to the beautiful costumes, the film looks as if it were set in Shakespearean times. The perfectly cast actors were phenomenal as well.
If you’re not a Shakespeare fan, don’t fret. The film is true to the play and keeps many of its famous lines, but the film is easy to understand.
However, I was somewhat disappointed on how the film began.
“Romeo & Juliet” is for audiences of all ages, but some of the more romantic scenes may not be suitable for young children. Tissues are advised.
Aerin Wagner is a freshman at Buffalo Seminary.