DVD Review: Romeo & Juliet: A Love Song
I’m not sure what I was expecting when I put Tim van Dammen’s Romeo & Juliet: A Love Song in my DVD player tonight. I certainly hadn’t paid much attention to the seemingly insignificant tag line, ‘A Love Song.’ I was just hoping it wasn’t going to be such a pile of crock that Baz Luhrmann produced a few years back.
I’m not even sure why I had requested a copy, as I’m no fan of Shakespeare or generally New Zealand film (sorry about that).
I certainly hadn’t anticipated a rock opera set in a trashy trailer park located in the economically depressed far north.
It turns out however that Tim van Dammen is a bloody genius, and even though I have to admit, that with no previous knowledge of the story, I would have been struggling to follow what was going on, Romeo & Juliet was some rollicking good fun.
The juxtaposition of rusty caravans, empty bottles and cigarette stubs littered everywhere with the full on musical opera of Shakespearean prose worked so well together, with both the comedic nature of the film in general, and the emotionally draining tragedy at the end.
Romeo & Juliet: A Love Song now wrestles in my head with The Most Fun You Can Have Dying for the title of best New Zealand film, ever.
Purists of course will hate it, Hollywood drones will loath it (because they won’t understand it) but any kiwi with a good sense of humour will love it.
Rating: M Violence.