Shakespeare remake falls short of original

By Jessica Alvarez

Eleven years of production is not apparent in the animated film, “Gnomeo and Juliet” whose star-crossed lovers are garden gnomes.

The story takes place on Verona Drive, in the garden of two feuding neighbors. The audience never sees their faces. Instead, the focus of the film are the gnomes.

The film, from Elton John’s production company Rocket Pictures, stars James McAvoy as the voice of the blue-dressed Gnomeo and Emily Blunt as the voice of red-dressed Juliet.

The Reds and the Blues live in the adjoining gardens of the feuding neighbors and, just like in the play, not even the constant bigotry of thier two families keeps them apart.

One would think that Elton John’s music might save the film from the downward spiral it was heading in, but nothing could save the film from the awkward scenes and creepy gnomes.

The overall plot was boring and predictable and, aside from some names, there was not much that resembled the original play other than the feuding families and star-crossed lovers.

The characters had no personality. Although people have the option to watch them in 3D, that does not give the characters any more substance than if they watched it in standard form.

Watching the film in 3D might make a small difference in what others think, but, spending the extra couple of dollars for a pair of glasses is not worth it.

The plot could have remained similar to Shakespeare’s original, seeing as how it is a take on it, but the storyline simply lost its way and strayed too far off the path.

Just as the audience starts to feel like this film is going to be about gnomes, we are introduced to a lawn flamingo. Sure, the story behind the flamingo was a bit sad but the flamingo had nothing to do with garden gnomes and, more importantly, it did not relate to Shakespeare’s play.

It was nice to recognize familiar voices such as Dolly Parton and Maggie Smith. But even famous voices could not lift this film from its blandness.

As far as humor goes, there were a few parts that may muster a giggle mainly because they were sexual innuendos, but other than that most of the humor in this film was dry and almost forced on the audiences.

If one walks in with absolutely no expectations at all, the film may not seem as bad as what it really is.

A seven-year-old may find this film extremely entertaining, but when other animated films come to mind, such as Pixar’s “UP,” this spin off of “Romeo and Juliet” just does not compare.

Overall, this film is appropriate for children but it is not great. It is not a film that someone would find themselves talking about afterward unless it is to say how different it is from the original play that it was trying to portray.

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