Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Romeo, Romeo, what's Julian Fellowes done to you? by Claire Duffin

It has been billed as a traditional adaptation of the classic love story. The latest version of Romeo and Juliet is not only filmed in Verona, Italy, the play’s original location, and set at the time it was written, but has also been scripted by Julian Fellowes, renowned for his period dramas.
And there’s the rub, as the original author might have said. Before it has even been released, the film is attracting criticism from Shakespeare scholars, who have accused Fellowes of altering the Bard’s work to such an extent that “little to none” of it is used.
Excerpts released to promote the film have been analysed by academics from two leading institutes dedicated to study of the playwright and both have reached similar conclusions. They found that Fellowes simplified lines, invented new ones and reconstructed phrases.
And while the experts say there is nothing wrong with adapting the Bard’s work, they expressed concern that because the play was being promoted as being close to the original, and Fellowes’s script still sounded “Shakespearean”, viewers could be misled into thinking they were hearing the original words.
In the credits for the publicity trailers, the film is described as being “From the greatest playwright ever known”.

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