by Ken B.
Two of the more well known adaptations of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet are Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 straightforward classic, and Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 hyperkinetic modernization. They are both very good in their own respects, achieving their goals with ease. There have of course been many others, but no one really thinks of them when considering movie versions of the story. I feel like this, Carlo Carlei’s 2013 film, is destined to join them. This is a dull, unnecessary movie. It doesn’t have many new views on the story: it’s set in period Verona, which means nearly everyone has a stuffy upper-class British accent, and it essentially follows the storyline of the play to a tee. It attempts to be original by having screenwriter Julian Fellowes (creator of Downton Abbey) changing up much of the original dialogue with modified dialogue that sort of sounds the same, usually in the interest of shortening things for time. Unless you’re really paying attention, you don’t particularly realize any major differences, and when you do, you realize how awkward it is. Because I doubt that anyone literate enough to open this page wouldn’t be familiar with the plot, I’ll just start my review now.