Wednesday 27 July 2011

Gnomeo & Juliet (2011) - Kelly Asbury

This. Is. Sacrilege.

My initial thought before watching this film.  Surprisingly I was wrong.

Sure, adapting Romeo and Juliet into a story about garden gnomes is utterly ridiculous.  But there have been plenty of adaptations done before; at least this is an original take on Shakepseare's narrative.

The film successfuly straddles that difficult line of universality that Shrek and Toy Story have perfected.  For the kids, there's a colourful tale about those odd little statues at the bottom of the garden.  Yet for adults, there's a lot to like.  The cast comprises an abundance of British talent - the list is practically endless - and some excellent CGI brings the characters to life with impressive detail.  The music features the songs of Elton John, which is both subtle and rather crass.  There are hilarious film references aplenty.  And Shakespeare is stamped all over it, from the witty script that overflows with references, to small details that are easily glossed over.  In total, the film is undoubtedly a celebration of all that is British.  And at less than ninety minutes long, this really is an epic tale on a tiny scale.  It may not have the gravitas of Baz Lurhman's film, but it's a charming introduction to the Bard's great work.

I just don't get why there's a toilet in the garden...