Private Romeo



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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 23, 2021 at 01:24 AM



Hale Appleman as Josh Neff / Mercutio / Capulet
Charlie Barnett as Ken Lee / Prince Escalus
Seth Numrich as Sam Singleton / Romeo
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
899.33 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 37 min
P/S counting...
1.63 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 37 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by thomasdosborneii 9 / 10

An Entrancing Dreamtime: Shakespeare Himself Would Have Loved This Film

I loved and was entranced by this very beautiful, and beautifully done, movie. At first I was worried that the use of Shakespeare's original language was going to feel gimmicky or distracting (as it often has been in other projects...such as, in my opinion, in the Baz Luhrmann "Romeo+Juliet" film, which had other charms, to be sure, and I liked it a lot, but regarding the Shakespearean spoken dialog, I had felt that neither Leonardo DiCaprio nor Clare Danes, who are certainly otherwise good actors, had the slightest idea what they were actually saying), but instead, this film illuminated Shakespeare's language and I feel that I had rarely heard those words spoken with such beauty, clarity, and understanding. The actors completely inhabited those lines and from the powerfully projective strength of their voices, it was obvious to me that these were very talented and even classically-trained actors.

They all had the physical good looks that makes you think they could have been cast on looks, alone, and yet to see the actual TALENT they all had, was rather amazing. A little investigation later revealed that many, if not all, of them were far more interested in the New York and London theater scenes than they were in "Hollywood", and this film is probably not a "Hollywood" film, anyway.

For typical Hollywood film audiences, this film might have been narratively confusing in several different ways. For example, the director made the decision to retain the feminine gender pronouns in the dialog, and yet, despite the fact that this movie was set in an all-boys military academy, I didn't feel that these words were meant to be used insultingly or as put-downs, even when spoken to or about those in "enemy" camps. Nor was their use meant to take on a "drag queen" type of persona, like "say girl", and "she" this and that. No. These men were always clearly masculine, and especially so throughout all their wooing and love-making, and let's underscore that they were young WARRIORS, so no asking "who is the man and who is the woman in the relationship", they are both (as were all of them) MEN, okay?

For me, at any rate, it was almost automatic to either ignore the specificity of the gender pronouns (understanding that the original Shakespeare was being used without alteration or distortion), or, perhaps better, to transcend the sexual implications of gender into their spiritual qualities. For, in truth, it is only those with the least developed masculinity who are afraid to express love, to be tender and physically affectionate toward other men, to be caring and sheltering, for the fear that those qualities will "compromise" their masculinity (instead of what actually happens, it enhances it). And if sex, and marriage comes along with it, well, they're sovereign adults who know their own hearts.

I admit that were some aspects that I didn't quite get, such as why were these two "camps" enemies? They weren't from rival schools, they were in the same classrooms and shower rooms, but maybe they were on rival athletic teams within the school, and, being quite competitive naturally, any alliance across teams was frowned upon. But I never really quite got where that conflict came from. (Perhaps oversimplifying it, I can best think of this in "Harry Potter" terms, different "houses", that in this film the "Capulet" and "Montague" were equivalent to "Gryffendor" and "Slitherin".)

I did not pick up on any homophobia; it might have been there or alluded to or assumed, but I did not think that it specifically was the love between the two boys, AS two boys, that was, itself, a problem, and if I am right, then this unquestioned acceptance of that added quite a bit to the dream-like quality or maybe idealized atmosphere of the film. For then in the film's "dreamtime," then, they are beyond that issue (as it is way high time for it to be in our everyday world).

I am willing to accept that my various problems in understanding certain things indicates my imperceptions rather than failings in the construction of the film. A subsequent watching (which I am eager to do) may very well clear up every question.

But, instead of getting lost in the minutia of plot points and evaluating the correlation of the meaning between the original Shakespearean love story and a modern-day version set in an all-boys military school, I think it was much better to merely swim in the dreamy artistry and beauty of the project as a whole, to enjoy it as the work of art it is instead of merely as a narrative story.

The two boys, "Romeo" and "Juliet" were fantastic together while swirling in and speaking to one another Shakespeare's gorgeous words. It was enough to bring tears to my eyes. I think that Shakespeare, himself, would have loved this film, and from reading his "Sonnets", I especially think so! I am also reminded of another of his plays that I love, "As You Like It", where, in my view, love transcends "gender" (or, at least, the temporary appearance of gender).

All in all, despite a few minor flaws, this was a very worthwhile film to see and if you like Shakespeare at all, I think this film will increase your appreciation of his work (and to see how well it continues to universally apply), and if you hadn't known the director and the performers previously, the film introduces you to some seriously talented professionals whose careers are very much to be kept abreast of.

Reviewed by walypala 9 / 10

Stunning Shakespeare

I have a couple of pet hates when it comes to Shakespeare: 1. Forced constructs (a lá Kenneth Branagh's As You Like It set in feudal Japan - WTF!?!) 2. Americans (I know it is harsh but I have yet to see an American production that I've not cringed at - Did you see Ethan Hawke in Hamlet?) And then along comes Private Romeo to force a group of American military cadets into Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare, forced context, Americans.

Shakespeare, forced military academy context, hot semi-naked Americans.

So I went. I was unprepared. The performances here completely disarmed me. The cast, led by (Seth Numrich - incidentally, Julliard's youngest ever drama student) is phenomenal. Their command of Shakespeare's words is masterful, finding the perfect balance between the flow of natural dialogue and the meter of the verse.

Hale Appleman is especially good as Mercutio, and he relishes the early scenes, absolutely smashing the Queen Mab speech. Chris Bresky, too, who takes on the nurse's role has a lot of fun with his role, aided by some clever set up. But, in truth, it is hard to fault anyone in the cast.

And the context? That's a bit more tricky.

The film kicks off with the students doing a read through of Romeo and Juliet in their class. Thankfully, Brown moves away from the standard 'lives mirror performance' format, as the cadets start to slip into verse with little warning. The military academy works as a setting because the action that is taking place isn't strictly 'Romeo and Juliet'. Shakespeare's dialogue is used to accentuate the action rather than drive it. It soon becomes clear that the masked ball is not going to be a masked ball and that daughters are not going to be girls. Importantly, there are no rival houses, they are mentioned but they are not the cause of the tragedy here, that role is taken up by the undercurrent of homophobia and standard high school pack mentality.

If you accept this construct then the world of Private Romeo maintains a concrete internal logic. The cadets can change roles because the speech is more important than the character. Director Alan Brown cleverly signals character changes by flashing back to the classroom scene, re-introducing the boys in the new role.

Coming to the film with a solid grasp of the play will certainly benefit. Brown has pared the play back to an extremely fast moving 98 minutes and he has used many techniques to keep the pace moving. Characters are excised or collapsed into single characters, actors double up on roles, and whole plot lines are removed or altered. This is nothing new in producing Shakespeare but it is certainly less common producing his works for the screen.

SPOILERS I won't deny that Brown has taken some liberties with the play. The tweaks that Baz Lurhmann made in his excellent 1996 version have been taken a step further here, with both the boys surviving. I didn't find this as jarring as I would have expected. Following on from Tybalt and Mercutio's fight (where neither die) the altered ending maintains the relationship between the traditional play and the play on the screen. Brown's decision also sidestepped the propensity of gays to die at the end of films, a comment in itself.

END SSPOILERS There are of course choices that didn't work especially well; a series of lip-synced YouTube videos filmed by the cadets were effective but oddly placed and a song by 'Juliet' over the films credits needs to be hacked off the end (and will be once it reaches my DVD-r).

Private Romeo is a fluid, astonishingly acted and relevant addition to the library of 'Romeo and Juliet' on film. Brown's film can sit proudly next to Zeffirelli and Lurhmann as an adaptation that has captured the true beauty of the text and adolescent love.

Do not miss!

Reviewed by dvdinaus 9 / 10

Truly ground-breaking!!

I was recently able to watch this movie at a cinema in NY on my travels and I must take my hat off to Alen Brown for making an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet so perfectly without getting carried away with trying to make it something it is not.

I have heard so many people say that it makes no sense calling a male by a female name but I believe that is what makes it so brilliant. The film is able to show a gay Romeo and Juliet story without getting caught up in the titles that we believe everything should fit into.

The boys are Romeo and Juliet they have a love that is pure and as clear as day but have to overcome the blindness of others. To be as talented as Shakespeare was at writhing plays you have to be able to create something that touches everyone in a different way this film shows just that. Sadly in order for you to fully understand the brilliance of this film you have to leave all your judgments behind.

I believe that Shakespeare would have been proud of how his masterpiece on unbiased love holds true in this film!

Truly ground-breaking!

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