-Individual vs. Community
How true to the text does the film remain?
-Relatively true. For the most part the lines follow the text perfectly with some exceptions. These exceptions are mostly to increase the clarity of the language to a more modern audience. Although there are moments when entire passages are removed from the play. These were primarily moments of banter and didn't necessarily affect the focus of the themes.
How true to the plot does the film remain?
-Completely true. Everyone dies who is supposed to and all characters meet age criteria (i.e. Juliet looks like she's 13 and Romeo looks like he's 26)
How does the portrayal of minor characters affect the play?
-Servant & Nurse - While reading the text, you get a feel that the servant has elements of comedic relief (not being able to read and needing Romeo to tell him who to invite to the party) but in the play he's portrayed by a goofy-looking, slightly overweight gentleman of 24 (reminiscent of John Belushi) and the nurse is played by a rather old woman in her 70's. Then, you constantly have hints of a flirty, romantic relationship throughout the entire movie (dancing, hugging, flirting) This adds a definite comedic element, but more importantly it downplays the theme of hate. It's hard to hate either family when you realize they're composed of regular, happy people. Especially when you don't see much negative interaction between the families throughout the film. Their relationship adds an almost slapstick element to the play.
-Paris - Paris is an attractive, well-spoken, and kind man. When compared to Romeo, I really don't see what Juliet does. He's more attractive, he's even-tempered, and he is extremely kind to her. He's not this creeper I imaged while reading the play, a 30-something trying to pick up on a 13 year old girl through her father. He is the soul of courtesy. It makes it difficult to relate to Romeo and his love for Juliet when I find myself more naturally drawn to Paris, which seriously handicaps the portrayal of epic love. In the end, the portrayal of Paris makes Romeo and Juliet's love seem immature because he makes Romeo appear immature. I can't take Romeo's love seriously if there are other characters who I take more seriously than Romeo.
-More to come in the next post-