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Tasha Robinson’s “Romeo + Juliet” Is Brisk, Smart, and Sage

In response to Tasha Robinson’s 967‑word review of Romeo and Juliet on The Dissolve

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Tasha Robinson’s “Romeo + Juliet” is both academic and fun. A rare feat in reviews that can so easily be disdainful snark, armchair directorship, or film school drop out polemics.  

None of these excesses mire Robinson’s work. This is a review with a point of view. It even starts with a good, if general, thesis on the reason why one should even think of making a new, updated, or re-imagined version of a classic. And then, the fun starts: hacking the film down and taking it to task for failing to be all that it should be, and being best known for what it ruined instead of what it invented.

There’s clarity here that more reviews lack. The language is clear. The sentences sharp. It’s almost as if Robinson cares about language. How fitting that this expression comes to life in a review of a film that fails to do that with the god of literature, Bill Shakespeare.

When the analysis zeroes in on the vernacular tone of the film’s contemporary dialog, it does so with a snide, contemporary tone to mirror that which it despises. This mimicry, while far from new, is usually so poorly handled that it becomes clear the reviewer merely enjoys the sound of their own voice. Not so with Robinson. To read this work is to read a reviewer in full command of their craft. The Bard would be proud.     

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