Thursday, June 16, 2016

Romeo and Juliet (1968)

Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's most famous plays but its not necessarily one of his best. It's simplicity makes it one that can easily mess up in its adaptation without the proper interpretation of the source material. Luckily Franco Zeffirelli is a bit of a master of the Shakespeare adaptation. Now visually speaking Zeffirelli adaptation are often quite captivating as he seems to attempt to represent the approximate time of the actual story in terms of costuming and sets, and just do that in a way that is visually appealing. Zeffirelli accomplishes that. Zeffirelli's skill goes beyond an effective visual representation in his interpretation of the play. One pivotal choice her makes is in the casting of the leads who are both properly young, as this version keeps in mind the foolishness of young love. It is not that it mocks them, but rather ensures a better understanding of their actions. Now even though its a tragedy Zeffirelli is mindful of lack of nuance in terms of certain elements of the story, and keeps a lighter touch with the material. It's a intelligent choice as Zeffirelli shows the bad decisions throughout the story mainly come from people just not taking time to think things through properly. This is best realized by his brilliant representation of the duel between Mercutio and Tybalt, which is as comedic as tragic, and in the end more about ego than hatred. It's in many ways a daring adaptation, almost covertly so, and an absolute success.

1 comment:

Calvin Law said...

My favourite Shakespeare film.