DOUGLAS Booth and Hailee Steinfeld play the star-crossed lovers in Carlo Carlei’s sweeping interpretation of Shakespeare’s tragedy, adapted for the screen by Julian Fellowes, award-winning creator of Downton Abbey.
Romeo (Booth) and Juliet (Steinfeld) are the youngest children of the Montague and Capulet clans, who have been sworn enemies for decades.
Despite the rivalry between their parents, the youngsters fall madly in love and marry in secret with the help of Romeo’s friend, Friar Laurence (Paul Giamatti).
Their happiness is cut short when Juliet’s brother Tybalt (Ed Westwick) fatally wounds Romeo’s loyal servant Mercutio (Christian Cooke), and Romeo - wishing to avenge his dear friend’s memory - kills the murderous Capulet, thereby re-igniting the bitter war of words between the two dynasties.
Romeo is banished to Mantua for his actions and Juliet is told that she will marry a respectable young suitor, Paris (Tom Wisdom).
Plunged into despair, Juliet seeks advice from the Friar and he advises her to drink a magic potion that will make it look as if she has died.
The Friar will then send for Romeo, tell him of their cunning ruse, and the couple will be re-united just as Juliet awakes from her sleep. At least, that’s the plan ...
My rating 6/10
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