1978 BBC’s Romeo and Juliet

After the glorious awkwardness, we then move on to the famous balcony scene, but again, it’s hard to buy this particular Romeo being so dazzled by this girl he just met because he’s so restrained. It just comes off like really terrible decision-making on his part, rather than a love affair for the ages.

About forty minutes later, after a wedding and all the other stuff that happens traditionally in the play, Tybalt shows up and Mercutio taunts him, so they fight. Ordinarily, I am completely on Mercutio’s side the entire play and am angered by his death, but again this interpretation of the character is so irritating–and The Rickman is Tybalt–so I’m actually looking forward to Mercutio’s demise.

pre fight

“You talkin’ to me?”

Tybalt obviously swordfights dirty, but I don’t even care.


“I’m evil, and I know it.”

The swordfight is not bad itself. I’ve seen better, and I’ve seen worse. However, I’m not qualified to discuss the logistics of a fight scene, so I’ll just restrict my narrative to whether I was entertained.


This screencap does make the fight look ridiculously casual, though.

Of course, Tybalt hauls ass out of there after killing Mercutio, which is kind of funny.


“Shit just got real.”

Then Mercutio continues to ham it up as he dies in Romeo’s arms, but he does at least spit up an impressive clot of spite blood when he shouts his last curse on both of the houses before dying.


Ms. Brocius approves too.

It’s pretty much the only Mercutio moment I enjoyed, which saddens me because, again, this guy is usually my absolute favorite character.

Then Romeo and Tybalt fight in a decent swordfight that involves a lot of running, and it takes forever but Romeo finally kills Tybalt.

bring it

“Bring it, Romeo.”

And that’s Rickman’s exit, though we have over an hour more left. I’m not going to blog the rest of the movie because it’s just more of the same.

I think the biggest problem with most of this movie, beyond the lack of passion, is the leads just seem to lack natural charisma, so they’re just not terribly engaging while onscreen, and again, their interactions with each other just seem to lack natural chemistry, though the sizable age gap between them could definitely have something to do with it.

Next page: Summary.


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