There have been several good movie versions of the play over the years (the 1954 UK version with Laurence Harvey and Zeffirelli's 1968 classic) and several unwatchable ones (Luhrmann's butchery). For me this one rates as good as any. I can see why teachers pan it in their reviews as it takes great liberties with Shakespeare, but viewed solely as a movie, it's great. The director moves along at a fast pace, concentrating on the love scenes and numerous sword fights and manages to keep the tension mounting even though you know what's going to happen. As to the acting, any movie with Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti is worth the price of admission, but the kids are effective too. It's the only version I've seen where you are aware the lovers are basically children. Douglas Booth comes across as exactly the pretty, loopy, impetuous teen boy a fourteen year old girl would fall for and he manages to deliver his lines clearly without sounding as though he's in a play at the Old Vic. Steinfeld's performance is more questionable. She certainly looks the part but she speaks her lines in the rushed, breathless way today's teens talk (I assume this is deliberate as she's a good actress) which means some of those so-well-known lines you are expecting are thrown away or barely audible. Even so, the fact that she is clearly a child (something Hussey and other predecessors failed to do) gives an overly well known story a fresh dimension, so I actually found myself caring what happened even though I already knew the outcome.
Taken as a movie, not "Shakespeare", they did a great job and it's well worth watching — even though you know the story.
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English, Spanish
- Region: All RegionsAll Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00H4BHIGW
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#71,531 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
- #52809 in DVD