Of Gnomes and Letters: The Most Recent Adaptations of R&J
Andromeda M. Reyes
I do not claim ownership of any of the photos or videos used in this entry.
Starring Amanda Seyfried, Chris Egan, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael García Bernal, and Franco Nero, this 2010 film is mostly chararecterized as a “loose adaptation” of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The romantic dramedy, of course, is a story of love, but rather of more than one pair of star-crossed lovers. The conflict in which the lovers are set however, are sorta different. They are not separated by an epic family feud but instead, are kept (50 years apart) by time and by their own egos. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is alienated from her workaholic chef fiance (Gael Garcia Bernal), who takes her to a trip to Verona. Leaving her work-obsessed boyfie behind, Sophie tours Verona and visits Juliet’s “shrine” where people seeking romance leave her letters containing their romantic aspirations. Sophie finds a 50-year old letter written by Claire (Redgrave). She seeks to find her and help her look for her long-lost love, Lorenzo (Franco Nero). In doing so, she meets Charlie (Chris Egan), Claire’s grandson, and finds a love story of her own.
NOTE: It ends with Charlie and Sophie in a balcony scene. Haha.
Sophie (Amanda Seyfried)
Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) with Sophie
Charlie (Chris Egan) with Sophie
Lorenzo Bartolini (Franco Nero)
Victor, the workaholic Chef fiance (Gael Garcia Bernal)
The balcony scene
GNOMEO and JULIET
The epic family feud continues with this 3-D animation adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Coming this Spring (Summer here) 2011, this film, compared to “Letters to Juliet” is a bit more faithful to the story’s plot. The war between the Mr. Capulet and Mrs. Montague extends to their garden gnomes, where the two star-crossed lovers, Gnomeo and Juliet, are situated. Gnomeo comes from the family of blue gnomes, and Juliet, from the “Reds.” The feud sparks from all sorts of conflicts i.e. who gets the Orchid to have the prettier garden, who wins the lawnmower race and so on. The story ends sweetly when Gnomeo marries Juliet on a purple lawnmower (read: red+blue=purple). Truce! And oh, William Shakespeare is also cast in this film. Well, his statue, at least, which also comes to life, and gets the chance to meet Gnomeo.
I believe that this animation is actually an attempt to introduce children to Shakespeare. In the trailer, it even specifically states, “experience Shakespeare.” Since we have discussed Shakespeare in the “experience economy” the different ways in which one experiences his work may influence the way people think they WHO and WHAT Shakespeare is. Unlike maybe for example, Lion King, which is, as you know, is Hamlet, but never really links itself to the play.