Foreign filmmakers remake “Romeo and Juliet”

Andrea Gomes, Arts and Trends Editor

Every culture has its own depiction of famous plot lines, and every one is different from the other. Three different movie-making industries created their own version of Shakespeare’s classic, “Romeo and Juliet”. Hollywood came out with their own “Romeo and Juliet,” Bollywood’s recently produced “Ram-Leela” and Singapore formed “Chicken Rice War.” Here are comparisons between one another and how the foreign versions of “Romeo and Juliet” differ from the American one.

“Romeo and Juliet” is the word for word film after Shakespeare’s play. Staring Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo and Claire Danes as Juliet, it is set in the modern day suburb of Verona. Instead of using swords, the characters use guns, adding to the present-day setting, while keeping the old-English dialogue of the original play.

In “Ram- Leela,” two members from rivaling clans in a Gujrati village, Rajadi and Sanera, meet during Holi, the festival of colors, and instantly fall for each other. Following much of “Romeo and Juliet,” Ram (Ranveer Singh) and Leela (Deepika Padukone) go against their families wishes and decide that their love surpasses all else. However, after eloping, Leela is forcefully taken back to the Sanera side of the village. Ram and Leela both become leaders of each side of the rival clans because of special circumstances. Unlike the American version of “Romeo and Juliet,” “Ram- Leela” doesn’t follow all of Shakespeare’s directions and is originally in Hindi.

Singapore’s very own “Chicken Rice War” is loosely like “Romeo and Juliet.” About the Wong and Chan families, they each own a restaurant with secret recipes to their famous chicken rice. Because of the secret recipes, a feud is started between these two familes. Two decades later, Audrey Chan (May Lee Yum) is a strong-willed girl who meets Fenson Wong (Pierre Png) during a play set up during school. Although coincidentally it is “Romeo and Juliet,” the two students start to fall for each other, creating even more fighting for the two families.

Often times, things go wrong when classics are remade, but these versions offer their own unique outlook and contribute to the play’s original legacy.