Films | Movie Reviews | FILM – LETTERS TO JULIET – Review

FILM – LETTERS TO JULIET – Review

Posted by Editor on October 23, 2010 | No Comments

FILM – LETTERS TO JULIET

PRODUCER – Ellen Barkin, Mark Canton, Eric Feig, Caroline Kaplan

DIRECTOR – Gary Winick

WRITER – Jose Rivera,Tim Sullivan

CAST – Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, Gael García Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave

MUSIC – Andrea Guerra

Love stories have a few beliefs set in stone. That believers in love are forever moon-struck and looking for romance in every little stone and that non-believers will be transformed for life by the simple magic touch of love. In keeping with the stereotype Sophie is a sensitive romantic with lights in her eyes and Charlie is the cynic, preferring to call himself a ‘realist’. His grandmother’s love-story brings them together in what is meant to be a love story as enduring as Romeo and Juliet’s. The outcome? Something that meanders between warm and lukewarm…

The film is set in romantic Italy, Verona to be specific. The land of Juliet and Romeo. Yes, in that order because in the legendary house of the Capulets lives a tradition where love-torn hearts write letters to Juliet for advice and her secretaries reply with as much passion and belief as Juliet would have. On a pre-marriage honeymoon with her fiancé, Sophie finds herself alone and amongst this group of ‘love-workers’. Enticed, she joins them and happens to answer an unanswered letter of fifty years ago, imploring the lady to find her lover if she truly loved him. This happens to be Charlie’s grandmother and hence starts the tale of finding romance in Juliet’s Verona.

Fifty yeas back, Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) had loved Lorenzo (Remo Remotti) but not kept her promise. Fifty years hence she is back to look for him. Sophie joins her and her disapproving grandson Charlie on a search for finding her true love. In keeping with the love story formula, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried who with her pretty, blonde good looks and petite frame, makes for the Juliet-esque charm well) is in a relationship that is not working. Her fiancé Victor played by the versatile and ever-dependable Gael García Bernal is too busy for her and their worlds refuse to merge. Step in Charlie with his boyish charm and a hidden warm heart and the mix is just right.

Just that it’s not sizzling enough. The film sparkles with promise with its beautiful setting, simple characters and striking cinematography. Sun-filled frames brighten up the screen and Sophie’s eyes as much as the straight-forward screenplay and dialogue move things naturally. However, this straight-forward-ness limits the scope of the story as well as the emotions, leaving behind a tepid love story that could be found on any street of the world. A love story that did not need to invoke Juliet and her balcony for it.

It is true that love stories are like flowers, some lilies some passionate roses. But at the end of it, what is a love story that does not invoke passion and tears of belief in the elusive ‘dream-come-true’ most of us are waiting to believe in?

FATEMA H.KAGALWALA

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