Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 118 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 13+. It’s Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” so most of what is in the play is in the film. Lots of characters fight and die, from stabbing and poison; the titular characters get married and then spend the night together, but wake up with their clothes still on; some drinking; some jokes about sex.
We don’t need another version of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ unless it brings something new, something original and creative, to the classic story. But this version’s change, altering Shakespeare’s text ostensibly so it is more straightforward, in reality makes it dull and lifeless. The film lacks not only passion, but cohesion.
By Roxana Hadadi
After Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 “Romeo + Juliet,” we don’t need more versions of Shakespeare’s tale. We just don’t! Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 version was the perfect classic adaptation; Luhrmann’s updated offering (which I prefer) brought modern flair and visual intensity to the story. All bases are covered with those two. But then comes along this new version from director Carlo Carlei and screenwriter Julian Fellowes, and the ambition of Zeffirelli’s and Luhrmann’s versions is that much more obvious. Because this new “Romeo and Juliet,” guys—it serves no purpose. None at all.