Romeo + Juliet Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Andrew Mogford, 2nd February 2011.
This may not be the best Shakespearian adaptation out there, but it is certainly the most interesting. It has a kinetic energy which is rare on the screen, and even rarer in a Shakespeare film, but still manages to remain pretty faithful to the original play (albeit slightly abridged). The actors cope with the demand of the bard well, and the only weakness is the central relationship between the two leads. Of course, in an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet this may seem crippling to the success of the film, but somehow it doesn’t here. The whole approach to the way the film is shot and edited means that it brings a fresh perspective to the play and is therefore worthy of a place in anyone’s collection. The soundtrack is awesome too.

Although there are a few very minor issues with the sound and picture that narrowly prevent these getting reference marks, this is very unlikely to be down to the effort put into the remastering process which is top notch. There is no doubt that the image in particular is light years ahead of what has been seen before, and the sound is lively at most times too.

The extras package is excellent, but the lack of a “Play All” option really does spoil things slightly.

Overall, then, this is worth a purchase for anyone who is interested in Shakespeare or Luhrmann’s career. The film is constantly interesting and vibrant – whatever flaws it may have. The disc may have some slight flaws, but I cannot imagine a DVD rendering Luhrmann’s world anywhere near as faithfully as this Blu-ray does.

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