Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Private Romeo

Private Romeo is about to add to the list of modern Romeo and Juliet retellings. This time the story takes place in a boy's military academy, and takes the form of, what was it that Bardfilm told us to call it, a meta play? Where the plot has them acting out Romeo and Juliet the play, while simultaneously their lives mirror the story?

If "boys military academy" didn't give it away for you, I'll say it up front - this is a gay version of the story - or is it homosexual? I'm not sure what the preferred was is to say that, and I'm copying "gay Romeo and Juliet" right from their homepage so I'm assuming it's ok. I mentioned Were The World Mine, a gay version of Midsummer, to the creators of the movie who swear to me that theirs is nothing like that.

Judge for yourself, there's a very well-produced trailer on the site. I like the way they mix up the verse with the story, and am very very pleasantly surprised to see Queen Mab playing a big role. What I can't figure out from the trailer, though, and maybe this is deliberate - where is the "two households" bit? All I see is boys at a military academy. So, what, is it two different schools? Two different grade levels? I honestly have no idea, I can't tell which is a Capulet and which is Montague. Is this just a case of the gay gentlemen trying to survive in a world of straights?

Take Juliet out of the picture for a moment, an R&J is one heck of a male bonding story. You've got best friends goofing around, you've got enemies, you've got fights, you've got watching each other's back, you've got loyalty. If you want to make a bunch of that take place on a basketball court, why not? Of course, somebody has to play the Juliet role. I think that how they pull that off will be crucial to the success of the storytelling. This is not going to be a case where they name one of the boys Julian or something like that and we're supposed to figure it out -- Juliet is called, by name, multiple times in the trailer. So somebody's playing that role, as that role.

Now, I wonder if their soundtrack will be as killer as Were The World Mine? :)

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