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SXSW 2021: “R#J”

Source: IMDB

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Over a dozen times has Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet”, been adapted onto TV. It seems we already know by heart every single line, especially the ending, the way both lovers die. Do we really need a version of it to sit and cry, like we have not done it before? The answer seems quite simple, doesn’t it? But before revealing it, I must point out there is a new adaptation that’s come out from director Carey Williams and promises to blow your mind away.

The same old story of the feud between Capulet and Montague. As the two families can’t find common ground to fix their issues, Romeo (Camaron Engels) and Juliet (Francesca Noel) fall for each other. While it all may sound familiar, this version takes place in the modern world filled with social networking. As Romeo and Juliet share their love story via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, the tension rises between Tybalt (Diego Tinoco) and Mercutio (Siddiq Saunderson), all because of one photo Romeo and Juliet share online.

The interesting part is, as soon as the film started, I personally wanted to switch to another Sundance title, or any other festival, as watching how teenagers message to each other, live stream their events, or argue about literally nothing was something I was not eagerly looking forward to. But I decided to give it a shot and wait and see how far it will take me before I make the switch. But to my great surprise, it not only proved me wrong, but became engaging, a bit funny, and breathtaking at the same time. You don’t often see films like this that would provide the greatest love affair via social networks and smartphone screens. But it worked so perfectly well and I hope director Carey Williams will get recognized for his creativity and superb direction which we don’t see often nowadays.

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