Private Romeo 2011

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(18) IMDb 6.3/10
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Innovative adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' set in an all-male military academy. Following on from the success of Baz Luhrmann's 'Romeo and Juliet' (1996), which transplanted the original dialogue of the play into a modern setting and aesthetic, the film sticks closely to the Shakespearean text while telling of the love, loss and conflict between a group of young men. Eight male cadets, including Josh (Hale Appleman) and Ken (Charlie Barnett), inhabit the military school and find their lives fused with the spirit of Shakespeare's most famous tragedy.

Starring:
Charlie Barnett, Sean Hudock
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 38 minutes
Starring Charlie Barnett, Sean Hudock, Matt Doyle, Hale Appleman, Adam Barrie, Chris Bresky
Director Alan Brown
Genres Drama
Studio TLA RELEASING
Rental release 30 April 2012
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A de G on 24 May 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Private Romeo"(inventive and apt title)is a lovely film, in fact one of the best films of this genre that I have seen. It is based on Shakespeare's drama but the viewers are also introduced to a second love story. The actors are overall very professional and convincing. The chemistry between Matt Doyle(Juliet) and Seth Numrich(Romeo) is truly amazing. This film is definitely a "must buy". I am certain that you will enjoy it and never forget it.
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Format: DVD
I LOVE this movie. I loved it the first time I watched it, and I've loved it even more each of the three times I've watched it since then; it continues to astonish me.

The adaptation of Romeo and Juliet to an all-boys' military academy is very effective, and Seth Numrich (Sam/Romeo) and Matt Doyle (Glenn/Juliet) have the most electrifyingly romantic scenes I've seen in a long time - maybe ever. Hale Appleman (Josh/Mercutio) is riveting, the best actor in a very gifted cast (all of whom are young New York theatre actors who had prior experience with Shakespeare on stage).

Familiarity with Romeo and Juliet will help a lot in following the fast-moving and sometimes chaotic story, and multiple viewings are well worth the time and effort.

Many people who don't like Private Romeo just don't like Shakespeare, which is understandable in a generation raised on reality TV and crap like Avatar and the superhero/action movie that gets remade under a different title several times every year.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, serious devotees of Shakespeare may have a problem with the liberties taken, not only in the male Juliet but in the slightly changed ending; but they cannot fault the amazing spirit of this movie - Shakespeare would be writing an even more glowing review if he were here. For people who love Shakespeare but are okay with free adaptations and low budgets, this is about as good as it gets. Even intelligent straight people may like it.

The "balcony" scene is especially glorious, the most perfect mating of language and feeling I have ever seen; but all four or five of their love scenes are revelations. I wish I had a hundred stars to lavish on this most excellent little movie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on 7 Aug 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A dream for ever and ever. To have "Romeo and Juliet" performed the way it was at the time of Elizabeth and the Globe Theatre, only with men and boys. But dream in the dream, let the boys be boys and not disguised boys, boys in drag, drag queens of sorts. What would happen if...?

Alan Brown has just done it. And he pushed his boyization of the play to the farthest point possible. Late teenagers in a military academy, or rather prep school, cadets who want to go to West Point all of them. Not only do the young men play all the roles but they play them with the necessary emotion and force. Romeo and Juliet who are two young men of 17 years of age really live their love as if they were in love, because they are in love, at least they are telling us with their tears, with their voices, with their bodies at all levels of nudity, though nothing frontal, that they are in love and that they spent the night before the lark sings nude in the same bed, spooning one against the other one in the other.

We are supposed to be moved by that love and by the hostility it reveals in some of these cadets, but there the film is discrete. No one dies, no one is really wounded, but the fights are real fights since cadets have some experience and training at close combat. And the atmosphere of the academy, though deserted since we only have a dozen cadets left, all the others being out on some field exercise, is reconstructed with small details here and there: the reveille, the flag going up and down, the roughness of an all male community, the showers and the washrooms, the two non-commissioned officers looking after the dozen abandoned cadets and making them march through an empty yard.

But that's not the real point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kingsley Hall on 24 Jan 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love this film. I think my favourite thing about it is that it doesn't focus on the bashing, the hatred or the pain and struggle of being gay... It's just a story about two people who love each other so much that they will do anything to be together. Shakespeare told in a really simple and uncomplicated way. Moving and a complete pleasure to watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By London on 24 Dec 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A fascinating and very well acted 'play' on the play Romeo and Juliet. It is a bit like Beau Travail, which is based on Billy Budd.

It is reviewed by others as a gay film, but it isn't really - this is acting - btw when performed at the time it was written Shakespeare would have used an all male cast, so this is not so different. A really engrossing film - a reasonably good knowledge of Romeo and Juliet will help.

All the actors are theatre actors and so the acting of the play is very good. Extras including director commentary are excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Clare on 25 Sep 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In the wake of DADT this adaption seems even more relevant than I expect it was originally intended.

Set in a military academy of young cadets, who in an open class are reading the Shakespearian play "Romeo and Juliet", one is introduced to the characters as they voice their respective parts. The story then blurs realities as the characters become themselves, with Romeo developing an intense affection and love for Juliet. The all male cast does not shy from the challenge of remaining faithful to one of William Shakespeare's most celebrated plays, and even though the female parts are played by men, there is never any confusion. If anything the hidden nature of their "unaccepted love" becomes a perverse metaphor that pervades the story though out. The two houses (Capulets and the Montagues) could be representative of many modern day realities, where normative society rejects alternative love for a variety of both spoken and unspoken reasons. In fact Shakespeare's words have a chilling resonance in them, when considered in light of the "gay love" between Privte Romeo and his Juliet...... "Whose misadventured piteous overthrows, Do with their death bury their parents' strife."

What comes to the for is that the "ancient grudge" (homophobia) pervades in an older world, where the young have little place, except to experience that prejudice on a daily basis. Whilst aware of the feelings many have in regards to their love, Romeo and Juliet are damned to pursue it. What evolves is a tender love story, fraught with modern angst. Any gay man who has dared to love, and allow himself to be loved in return, will know of the inner wars and outward battles that result from such a place.

The movie is extremely well acted, with some of the lessor parts being exceptional.
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