Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Review : Gnomeo & Juliet

Gnomeo & Juliet : Shakespeare's love story told in an imaginative, new and diverse way. Providing a festive way of interpreting the story and this time... there is a happily ever after.

There are many ways to tell a Shakespeare story, and there have been many different versions of Shakespeare's plays because there all really good; and I suppose if you create characters and stories that are so memorable there is a desire to see more of it, in many different ways. There is only so much you can do, only so many times you can imitate a shakespeare play and again, and again, and again.

In this version, the neighboring gardens of Montague and Capulet are at war, but the gnomes, Gnomeo and Juliet, are in love.

I think there is something about the comedic side of this which make it all the more appealing, to me anyway. Overall this Shakespeare-inspired animated feature film, contains some of the same themes as the original Romeo and Juliet story, minus most of the bloodshed and the tragic ending. Although there's still serious enmity between the Montague and the Capulet gnomes, the violence isn't as prominent, which detracts from the grittiness of the play and makes the drama of Romeo & Juliet intense. 

For a family film, I can understand by not having such heavy violence and replacing that with comedy and toning that down slightly, really does make the film itself better for the audience because it can be enjoyed more and people can laugh a lot.  A couple of gnomes do get smashed, or maimed, but most of the destruction is to the gardens themselves amongst. Language is limited to insults and slang like "shut up," "codger," and "daft." And this film might be good in terms of preparing younger audiences, young children going into their teens who enjoy the story may be ready for setting them up for the real play or more serious Shakespeare adaptations.

Here is a trailer.

I will be honest at first, the premise of this story sounds a bit off-putting; Shakespeare's much-beloved tragedy with CGI gnomes? Really, the title is very clever and it was advertised very well. however, of course, that's what purists must of thought when they first heard about West Side Story, and that's regarded as being one of the most enjoyable musicals ever. So going into Gnomeo and Juliet with an open mind, I think you will be surprised in terms of how well you receive it, and you may find this adaptation quite original and amusing and equally a tribute to producer Elton John as it is to Shakespeare. 
John's best songs including "Bennie and the Jets," "I'm Still Standing," "Crocodile Rock," and "Your Song" are all incorporated in the score, and the talented composer even recorded two songs especially for the soundtrack, 'Hello Hello' is a brilliant song and Lady Gaga contributes to it very well. The end result is a familiar accompaniment to an even more familiar tale much like a Baz Luhrmann production for children and parents.
Grown-ups familiar with Shakespeare's works will have fun noting all of the movie's Bard references like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Movers, Tempest Teapots, and a line from Macbeth, to name just a few and watching the tragic tale transform into a comedy performed by some of Britain's finest actors and comedians. 
So overly the film does have that 'Shakespeare' feel to it and it intakes you in, to see a newer version of the well loved story on screen. 7/10
NEXT: Horrid Henry - The Movie.

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