Films | Gnomeo and Juliet – Review

Gnomeo and Juliet – Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on February 18, 2011 | No Comments

FILM – Gnomeo and Juliet

PRODUCER – Baker Bloodworth, David Furnish, Steve Hamilton Shaw, Igor Khait (Co-producer)

DIRECTOR – Kelly Asbury

WRITER – Kelly Asbury, Mark Burton, Kevin Cecil, Emily Cook, Kathy Greenberg,
Andy Riley, Steve Hamilton Shaw (screenplay). Based on the original screenplay by William Shakespeare, John R. Smith, Rob Sprackling

VOICE CAST – James McAvoy, Emily Blunt

MUSIC – Chris Bacon, James Newton Howard, Elton John

Clay gnomes fight and love in Kelly Asbury’s ‘Gnomeo and Juliet’, a modern-day, tongue-n-cheek take on Shakespeare’s classic love-tragedy. The setting is new, there are twists and of course the genre is turned on its head. It makes for laughs, some clumsy, some forced, some cute. But does it do anything new? Not much really.

So, Juliet is no damsel in distress and the Capulets vs Montagues is a mere ticklish feud between matronly parents. There are pink plastic flamingos and deadly lawnmowers too to help the story along. But do they help? Not really.

The film loosely sticks to the framework of the original story but takes no lessons from the dramatic build-up and moments that Shakespeare is famous for. It comes to the point in a somewhat ambling fashion and even then doesn’t bother too much about the point which seems to be about romance and a light-hearted look at the tragedy, but just about.

In a cheeky self-referential sequence, the bard himself makes an appearance betting on the tragic climax. It is a foregone conclusion from then on about what is in store and when it unfolds there are sadly no such ‘aha’ moments that are supposed to accompany sighing romantic unions.

The film employs Scottish and Afro-American accents but if they are meant to point to any politico-cultural analogy it’s lost in the breezy manner in which they have been employed.

Visually, the gardens and streets are pretty. And so is in some measure the romance of the two teeny-boppers cute. But there isn’t enough meat or heart in it. Which makes us yearn for the original, even if it is heart-rending. It’s got heart in it.

FATEMA KAGALWALA

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