BATD ON Oct 02, 2013 AT 2:33 pm

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

A Shakespeare adaptation is a sure fire way to steal interest in the film industry, especially when the cast boasts so many relevant faces. Douglas Booth, who takes on the intricate role of Romeo, began stealing hearts in 2011 as Pip in a television adaptation of Great Expectations before appearing alongside the then long-haired and demure Miley Cyrus in LOL. His latest Shakespearian venture is sure to catapult him further into the spotlight, as he plays the enamoured lover opposite Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit. 

For Steinfeld the film marks the start of her adulthood amongst the Hollywood set. Other cast members include Ed Westwick, who despite the series ending last year, is still to escape the association with his iconic character Chuck Bass, and his portrayal of Thibault isn’t so far removed from the intensely brooding character of Gossip Girl. The cast’s other TV series heavy-weight is none other than Homeland anti-hero Damien Lewis who takes on the dominant role of Juliet’s father. And of course, who could forget the man who adapted the script for the screen? Downton Abbey’s writer Julian Fellowes took on the mammoth task, and with incredible results. Set against the traditional backdrop of Verona, Fellowes’ adaptation is comparable to Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 take on the tragedy, in which Olivia Hussey’s portrayal of Juliet caused a sensation amongst the men of the late 1960s.

This latest example of the tale of two star-crossed lovers seems to try and stay as true as possible to the original intentions of the play. It is minus the heaving bosoms of Zeffirelli’s offering, and entirely without the various modern interpretations that Baz Lurhmann cast before us in 1996. There is a real sense of youth and innocence in the film, that can be attributed to the age and comparative inexperience if its lead actors.

What’s more the film is beautiful. The costumes are rich and elaborate, and the Italian surroundings of Verona as big a character as the actors themselves in each scene. It’s utter escapism at its most beautiful.

Romeo and Juliet is released on 11th October 2013.

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