Inspired by Shakespeare classic, Romeo and Juliet, this movie takes the tale of two star-crossed lovers to a whole new dimension. Set in the back gardens of two feuding neighbours, it’s hard to imagine how this story bares any relation to the original. Yet all the tell-tale signs are there – the Capulet and Montague family names adorning the letter boxes, the rivalry and hatred emanating from both sides of the garden fence, and of course, the biggest give away of all, the name of the movie. Yes, this is certainly a tale that captures the infamous ideologies of its predecessor, but what’s great about it is that it does so in a completely unique and innovative way.
Like the original, the plot follows the doomed love of protagonists, Gnomeo and Juliet, as they desperately seek a life of happiness together, whilst in a world determined to keep them apart. Along the bumpy course of their brooding romance, the pair battle to overcome endless obstacles brought about by their feuding families, which will test the strength of their allegiance to each other and to their loved ones. Yes, there’s no denying that this movie is action packed – from the battle of the lawnmower races, the discovery of a secret garden and its eccentric pink- feathered inhabitant ‘Featherstone,’ the comical portrayal of Mr Shakespeare himself, right up to the vandalism of the cherished garden toilet (yes toilet) – there’s quite simply never a dull moment.
Gnomeo and Juliet is certainly less doom and gloom when compared to the tragic outlook presented by Shakespeare. Yes, his work is indeed one of genius, but who says you can’t fun it up a bit? From the bright colours of the garden, as well as the gnomes themselves, to the accompaniment of the toe-tapping beats of Sir Elton John, this version definitely paints a more cheerful picture. It undoubtedly reaches out to the modern-day viewer, what with the Elton John inspired gnome adorning ridiculously glittery glasses, to the Grease style closing as the gnome-mobile floats away into the sky. Yes, it’s all frightfully good fun – but does it have the ending we all hoped for in the original?
This revised version of a classic tale makes the workings of Shakespeare more accessible, and somewhat more appealing, than its original. It requires significantly less brain power to actually follow what is going on, and all that fancy, Shakespearian language (which I personally feel was just invented with the incentive to confuse everyone) is tossed aside, leaving a much more manageable storyline to deal with. So even if you’re not a literary boffin, or a Shakespearian nerd, this movie is still worth a moment of your attention. And if the story does fail to inspire you, I guarantee at the very least you’ll never look at your garden gnome in quite the same way again.