Gnomeo and Juliet – Movie Review
By Anne Brodie Feb 10, 2011, 12:57 GMT
The Cg-animated feature is a twist on Shakespeare\'s classic and set in the world of garden gnomes. ...more
This contemporary re-imagining of the Shakespearean tragedy ranks high on the adorability scale and sky high in the celebrity voiceover appearance scale – Patrick Stewart, Emily Blunt, Jason Statham, Dolly Parton, Hulk Hogan, James McEvoy, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, Matt Lucas, Ozzy Osbourne for heaven’s sake… that’s some Shakespeare.
One of the most performed plays in literary history is noisily refreshed in a new milieu – a suburban English garden.
The vividly hued world of the gnomes is important symbolically as well as artistically. The primary colors of the gnomes’ loyalties, red and blue, the Bloods and Crips, the Capulets and Montagues, of the back yard set, and the million shades of green and blossoms colours in the lush vegetation of the garden, against the blue sky make this an eye pleasing delight.
The candy colored inhabitants of adjoining backyards have been embroiled in an ages old feud, in the traditional, social, political feud straight out of The Bard’s original tale. Sweetly naïve Gnomeo and Juliet however, learn this time around.
Young Turk Tybalt (Statham) is just as uncontrollably violent as he was 400 years ago, except now he gets to use really loud machines. It was genius casting Statham who recreates his signature action hero scowl and bite as he revs up another manly machine.
Gnomeo and Juliet, the plaster star crossed lovers are in the traditional secret passion pickle.
They’ve fallen in love despite the war between their families, their gnome gnations, and their efforts to bring this love to flower without being discovered are futile. And yet they carry on, driven by youthful passion and recklessness. But once they are discovered, all kinds of gnome-y hell break loose.
The war spills outside the walls of the gardens and into the mean streets of suburbia where Gnomeo and a truck meet by accident. He is presumed dead as shards of pottery strew the road and Juliet and his mother are beyond comfort.
This is one of several sequences reminding us that the rush to violence and destruction in children’s pop culture is irrevocable. Big noise, big blow up, big boom. A couple of gnomes order a Terrafirminator online (?) to wage war on the enemy next door, but naturally, the machine is too much for a group of garden ornaments to handle and chaos reigns.
Destruction trumps all. The glorious gardens are leveled by the Terrafirminator, for a time, at least. Does no one trust children to enjoy a film that doesn’t self-destruct with eye popping violence? Is this what we’ve come to? It’s hard to reconcile love and war but the gnome world, while it looks pretty harmless, is a hotbed of heightened emotion and action.
The world’s a dangerous place, maybe most especially in the suburbs.
Elton John and partner David Furnish produced the film, and John provides most of the soundtrack with a few references to the Beatles. The tunes are familiar, rousing, sentimental and perfect in this milieu.
Gnomeo and Juliet will entertain kids and their parents and that’s a win-win situation and thankfully no one dies.
Visit the movie database for more information.
35mm 3D animation
Written by Kelly Asbury
Directed by Kelly Asbury, Mark Burton, William Shakespeare, et al
Opens: Feb 11
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CEmily Blunt Biography -
Emily Blunt Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesJason Statham Biography -
Jason Statham Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesOzzy Osbourne Biography -
Ozzy Osbourne Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesPatrick Stewart Biography -
Patrick Stewart Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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