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Private Romeo

3.9 out of 5 stars 185 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Stars Seth Numrich, Matt Doyle, both from Tony Award-winning production of WAR HORSE. Based on William Shakespeare s Romeo and Juliet! When eight male cadets are left behind at an isolated military high school, the greatest romantic drama ever written seeps out of the classroom and permeates their lives. Incorporating the original text of Romeo and Juliet, YouTube videos, and lip-synched indie rock music, PRIVATE ROMEO takes us to a mysterious and tender place that only Shakespeare could have inspired.

Review

Brave, controversial...hugely adventurous and highly liberated movie that offers a fresh take on the Bard in the age of same-sex marriage. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Rex Reed, THE NEW YORK OBSERVER Dynamic ensemble cast of young actors invests the Bard s poetry with energetic energy. Ronnie Scheib, VARIETY Leads Matt Doyle and Seth Numrich accomplished Broadway actors are intense, engaged and appropriately tragic. Joe Neumeier, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS --Wolfe

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Product Details

  • Actors: Seth Numrich, Matt Doyle, Hale Appleman, Chris Bresky, Sean Hudock
  • Directors: Alan Brown
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Wolfe Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007OXB1GI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,376 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first heard about this film some months back, entirely by accident. The more I read about it, the more curious I became about this new presentation of my favorite play. I know that the subject might put some people off, but please don't let it. This Private Romeo is truly "private:" here are two boys taking a great risk in daring to love each other in an unfriendly and often hostile environment. Oh yeah, and they are playing out the greatest romance ever written.

Alan Brown managed to find eight of the most talented young men around and together created a masterpiece. Some of the characters have to double up on roles, but it was so seamlessly done. The two lovers played by Seth Numrich (Sam/Romeo) and Matt Doyle (Glenn/Juliet) were two of the finest performers I have ever seen. Numrich is a convincing and endearing Romeo, with all the tender innocence and bewilderment, and Doyle is an outstanding Juliet, pure sweetness and strength. They have such chemistry together that I found myself unable to stop smiling, or hold back the tears. Hale Appleman (Josh) is a memorable Mercutio/Lord Capulet, at once terrifying, and riveting. He seems to be on the brink of madness at times. Sean Hudock (Gus) was a fantastic Benvolio/Lady Capulet, trying to understand his friend's decision to pursue Juliet, and then turn around and convince Juliet to marry Paris. I could go on and on about the other players, but you need to find out for yourselves. But trust me, this is a dream cast!

The setting in the nearly empty academy was, to me, like a blank canvas, or an empty stage. Anything is possible. This film is beautifully shot, from the trees on down to gentle caresses. The language was updated at times, going from the traditional Shakespearean words to modern terms.
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If you enjoy Shakespeare, beautiful men, great acting, and interesting interpretations, of something that has been interpreted almost as many times at the bible, then watch this movie. Someone finally went and did it. What would happen if Romeo and Juliet lived? We still don't know because the film ends right after we learn that they live, but that's okay. I truly enjoyed this film. The writing, most of it Shakespeare, is classic and flawless. The acting, surprisingly mature and moving. The cast, beautiful. The direction, while I don't enjoy the "abrigedness" of Shakespeare's work, I think I understand the director's choices and I applaud him for making them and think that he pulled them off.
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In the Year of Grace 1692, a certain Irish poet and "dramatist," one Nahum Tate, son of a Puritan clergyman, was appointed Poet Laureate of England by their Britannic Majesties King William III and Queen Mary II. If he is remembered at all today, it is as the author of the Christmas Carol "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks," and as the librettist for the very first English opera, Henry Purcell's Dido & Aeneas. ("Thus on the fatal banks of Nile/Weeps the deceitful Crocodile" is what Tate has Dido deathlessly utter when Aeneas tells her he's ditching her. Wonderful stuff!)

Alexander Pope nominated Tate one of the three High Priests of the goddess Dulness in his hilarious Dunciad (love Pope!) ". . . pensive poets painful vigils keep/Sleepless themselves to give their readers sleep." Wicked. But . . . apt: One of Tate's Great Works was a translation into English heroic couplets of a gem from the Latin original of "Syphilis or the French Disease. . . ."

Okay. All very amusing. But what, pray, does it have to do with Private Romeo, an American indie film copyrighted 2012 and released just this month to DVD?

Well, because, for a time, Tate had a certain fleeting fame in London for "improving" Shakespeare. He re-worked King Lear - as a musical, mind you - leaving the Fool out altogether and with, at the end, Lear and Kent bosom buddies, and Cordelia riding off into the sunset with Edgar. He also "fixed" Coriolanus. But perhaps most famously, or infamously as the case might be, he re-wrote Romeo & Juliet so that it had a happy ending!

And for these literary sins, the guy's been getting guff for over three hundred years - and never mind that such opprobrium is just a tad anachronistic: Eng. Lit.
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Format: DVD
Alan Brown (Superheroes, Book of Love, etc) has adapted a poignant capsule of Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET and directs his version as a little film that is full of riches. Not only has he allowed Shakespeare's lines to be delivered intact but he has the courage to embellish their meaning by placing the story in a military academy, a move that has a lot of punch considering the recent advances in the military attitude toward gays. Brown very successfully mixes this contemporary all male setting with bits of contemporary dialog and music and academy activity with sports etc to offer a very different look at the tale of forbidden love, has cast a highly gifted cast of New York stage actors to play all the roles, and has the courage to make this all work quite successfully. As one PR summary puts it, `When eight cadets are left behind at an isolated military high school, the greatest romantic drama ever written seeps out of the classroom and permeates their lives. Incorporating the original text of 'Romeo and Juliet,' YouTube videos, and lip-synced Indie rock music, Private Romeo takes us to a mysterious and tender place that only Shakespeare could have inspired.'

Once the setting is established, we are privy to a classroom (English literature) where the men/boys are reciting Sjakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet and from there the readers take on the roles as they move outside the classroom. The extremely talented Seth Mumrich plays Romeo and his gifted costar in Broadway's WAR HORSE Matt Doyle is Juliet. Hale Appleman is given the combined roles of Mercutio and Lord Capulet, Sean Hudock shares both Benvolio and Lady Capulet, Adam Barrie is Friar Lawrence, Chris Bresky plays the Nurse, and the magnetic Bobby Moreno plays Tybalt.
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