5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Accent on worldliness,
This review is from: Romeo And Juliet [VHS]  (VHS Tape)
The opening sequence of this film includes arial shots of an American city in which a church spire is dominated by two much taller skyscrapers belonging to the chief businesses there. Visually, this sums up one of the important themes of the play, how material values in Verona have become more important than spiritual ones. There are many more ways in which this film intelligently translates Shakespeare's words into pictures. Particularly enjoyable is the way in which, at the Capulet's party, all the major characters play a symbol of themselves: Tybalt is a devil, Lady Capulet is Cleopatra, Mercutio is a transvestite, Juliet is an angel, and though Romeo begins as an astronaut, he ends up looking far more like a knight in shinning armour. The text is very much shorter than we might expect and few of the actors speak the text with much lyricism but anyone who has to teach this play might do a lot worse than ask students to compare and contrast this with Zeffirelli's version, but beware, your discussion could go on for several sessions.