A new British film adaption of Romeo and Juliet opens in cinemas in the UK and the US on 11 October:
Will you go to see it?
Are you swept away by the thought of a new interpretation of the romance (which does not stick to Shakespeare’s dialogue)? Are you excited to see the chemistry between two young actors, Douglas John Booth and Hailee Steinfeld? Do the costumes and the setting (Renaissance Verona) appeal?
Or, alternatively, are you wondering what more director Carlo Carlei can bring to the story; what novel and powerful new edge he can find to move his audience? Are you an ardent fan of the Baz Luhrmann or Franco Zeffirelli version? Are you steering clear of the film for the same reason I’ve never watched Titanic more than once: because you find the ending unbearably tragic? You may, in fact, prefer works inspired by the plot and characters, rather than following them too closely. West Side Story, for example – or even the animated Gnomeo and Juliet!
Is Romeo and Juliet the ultimate love story? Ought we to re-imagine it each few years, or has it all been done before? Should we stay true to the Shakespearean original, or get creative and explore new interpretations and inspirations? Could anyone make a version in which the ending is not so tragic; and if so, would that even work? Whom would you cast as the perfect Romeo and Juliet?
I would love to hear your thoughts.