Tamil Reviews

Romeo Juliet Review: Lessons in Filmmaking

If there is something worse than naming a film as crass and woeful as Romeo Juliet after a Shakespearean play, it’s the task of sitting through two hours of it. Suffice to say that this Lakshman fare has absolutely nothing in common with its namesake. Granted, there’s a ‘Romeo’ – as loosely as the style is used these days to represent anything romantic; a Juliet, who’s characteristically more juvenile, and a story, which, even if it isn’t essentially a “tragedy”, ends up being one anyway.

There’s this exquisite Tamil sentiment that is heavily exploited in Romeo Juliet. Something that always seems to be in vogue year after year, decade after decade. The sentiment that several massy actors always employ to their advantage, Sivakarthikeyan (in Kaakki Sattai) being the latest to do so. A penurious hero with a heart of gold versus a rich, English-spouting <insert a few negative adjectives> business man. Only, here it’s more excruciating, with ribald, sexist humour, and two leads whose antics get increasingly insipid over time.


Sometimes, I wish I could sit on the censor board.


Romeo Juliet begins with a few famous scenes from movies past. There’s Sivaji professing his undying love, there’s Thalapathi’s Rajini, that song from Guna, then, Vijay, Dhanush, Ajith, and a moment from 7G Rainbow Colony. Romeo… belongs with the latter few. An exaggerated version of all things Vijay and Dhanush, entailing more harassment if there ever was than 7G Rainbow.

Aishwarya (Hansika) is an air hostess who wants to marry rich; Karthik is a gym instructor whose parents are intent on finding him a bride. What happens when Aishwarya, through a sheer twist of fate, falls in love with Karthik when she sees him driving a Mercedes Benz and living in a huge bungalow? And what happens when she finally realises that he’s not rich? If the first half of Romeo Juliet seeks to showcase how shallow Aishwarya is, the second is all about teaching her a lesson.


The Tamil way.

Whom does she choose? The penniless hero with a heart filled with equal parts gold and discriminatory humour and subtle disapproval about her clothes, or the rich, controlling, power-hungry businessman, full of obvious disapproval about her clothes, body, and handwriting?

And, the jokes. Of course, the theatre was laughing; especially the woman next to me who was cheering Jayam Ravi on.

There has to be a manual somewhere on responsible filmmaking.


The Romeo Juliet Review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.