Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Mon Jul 9 2007There have been dozens of screen versions of Shakespeare’s shortest, bloodiest tragedy, including a couple of corkers by Kurosawa and Welles. Unfortunately, ‘Romper Stomper’ director Geoffrey Wright’s take on the play fails to do it justice: both lumpen and flashy, it convinces neither as drama nor as stylistic exercise. Plainly if belatedly following the lead of Baz Luhrmann’s electric ‘Romeo + Juliet’, Wright gives the action a contemporary gangland setting, puts a decimated version of the original text into the mouths of a young cast and hopes to do much of the storytelling through mise-en-scène. It’s not an unworkable conception, and what’s left of the verse is handled clearly enough. But the production design is tacky, the direction all movement and no meaning, and the performances consistently weak – Sam Worthington’s pretty, wounded bemusement was used well in ‘Somersault’, but conveys little of the will and depravity that drive the antihero. It goes on a bit, too. Even Macbeth – not a man of exemplary judgment – knew that if it were done, then ’twere well it were done quickly.
Author: Ben Walters
Fri Jul 13 2007