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07 July 2016 @ 07:48 pm
I just bought my ticket for the screening of Branagh's Romeo and Juliet. I'm still kind of miffed about the whole Jacobi-playing-Mercutio thing, and I don't really get why he seems to have filmed the production in black-and-white, but Romeo and Juliet are my babies, so I really have little choice but to go.

Anyway, might be worth checking your local cinemas, if they screen these sorts of things and update their websites regularly. The screening here isn't until September 1 (although the UK screenings started today, I think?), but other cinemas will probably have other dates.
negothicknegothick on July 8th, 2016 02:04 am (UTC)
Mercutio played by a 77-year-old actor? What, is Branagh going to CGI the sword-fight? It could give a whole new twist to the Queen Mab speech, the wanderings of a senile mind--no wonder they say "you talk of nothing."
I hope Branagh isn't playing Romeo?

I just saw an outdoor production at Mystic Seaport, using the 19th-century Greenmanville Meeting House as the Tiring House and backdrop, otherwise a bare platform. Flock Theatre of New London did a creditable job with the stage combat, played inches away from the front row of blankets--the audience was nervous. Their Mercutio was a skinny, foxy-looking guy with a modern goatee who simply dripped irony from every limb.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 8th, 2016 11:23 pm (UTC)
I find the whole thing baffling, really. I can't imagine any other reason for casting Jacobi than trying to downplay the leads - whether because Branagh thought he needed a "big name" to sell the production, or because he ascribes to the belief that Mercutio is more important than Romeo and Juliet (boo hiss). But maybe I'm wrong?

…Still can't imagine how he's going to make the dueling convincing, though. Why is this elderly man still trying to fight with teenagers?
litlover12 on July 9th, 2016 08:32 pm (UTC)
I still haven't made up my mind how I feel about that casting decision. I will say that in a way it SORT of worked -- because they were all relatives, it sort of made sense that he and the younger guys hung out together all the time, like you might hang out with an uncle or even a particularly spry grandfather if he happened to live nearby. (Especially in the post-WWII Italian setting they used, where -- as some of the slides at intermission emphasized -- extended family was still a big deal.) And he certainly threw himself into the role. All that aside . . . I really don't know why Branagh went that direction. Maybe he wanted to bring in one more "Cinderella" co-star just for kicks, but there were other roles he could have played.
tempestsarekind: peddlers of bombasttempestsarekind on July 11th, 2016 05:32 am (UTC)
I mean, the problem is with the character. I totally believe that young guys could hang out with someone older, especially a family member…it's just that Mercutio, specifically, is a hotheaded young man who totally believes he can beat Tybalt in a fight! I can't quite imagine how Jacobi could give his version of Mercutio enough of a backstory, in performance, for me to believe that part - no matter how good he might be at the Queen Mab speech.

Also, if Branagh wanted to cast Jacobi…Friar Laurence is right there. (And didn't Branagh also cast someone absurdly young as the Friar, too? If I recall correctly, the actor he cast actually just played Romeo last year or the year before!) Capulet is right there. The whole thing is very peculiar. But I guess I'll see for myself in September!
litlover12 on July 8th, 2016 05:34 pm (UTC)
I liked it pretty well, overall. I thought the leads (whom I loved in "Cinderella") were a little underwhelming, but they brought a lot of appeal and sincerity to it, and that goes a long way. What did you think?
litlover12 on July 8th, 2016 06:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, you said Sept. 1! Sorry, missed that. We had it here last night.
tempestsarekind: all the world's a stagetempestsarekind on July 8th, 2016 11:19 pm (UTC)
No problem! I'm sure I'll write about it when I've seen it. :)