Looking for contemporary interpretations of Shakespeare’s work?
You just may find your fix in the 2014 version of Romeo and Juliet starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad. It’s muscular and creative, and it plays up the humor.
The balcony scene could easily have been set in two separate bedrooms and featured the characters looking at each other through their windows while speaking on the telephone and waiting for the other person to hang up first.
Christian Camargo gives one of the best portrayals of Mercutio I’ve seen, delivering the Queen Mab speech in a comprehensible, conversational fashion.
However, the play can be antic at times, speeding through the scenes as if afraid to sit still, and the actors often deliver their lines by rapid-fire sing-song rote that often steals the power, playfulness, or pathos of the words.
When the play slows to allow the moments to play out more naturally, less frantically, that’s when it shines.
Still, though I like many of the lines and scenes, this remains one of my least favorite Shakespeare works.