Rome & Juliet

Genre: Romance

Love, according to ‘Rome and Juliet’

16 February 2007

YOU COULD be forgiven for thinking that it’s a reworking of William Shakespeare’s tragic romance about two lovers from warring families. The title sounds the same as Shakepeare’s masterpiece, but that’s about all that ...

Director Connie Macatuno’s new film has in common with the Shakespearean play.

Macatuno’s film, Rome and Juliet, is about two lovers, all right, but the main characters in the film are two women. It tells of the romantic journey of Juliet (Andrea del Rosario), a conservative pre-school teacher who hires Rome, a liberated wedding planner, to take charge of the preparations for her upcoming wedding. Thrown together by circumstance, the two women become close and develop a romance that becomes a huge scandal after the groom and their respective families discover their affair.

Angered and humiliated, the groom (played by Rafael Rosell), calls off the wedding. Not long after, Juliet is driven away from home by her own mother, is fired from work and is injured in a vehicular accident that renders her comatose. But in the end, and despite all the trials, Rome and Juliet’s unconventional love for each other remains strong and intense.

During the Cinema One Originals Digital Movie Festival held in November last year, Rome and Juliet won the judges’ nod for Best Production Design, while Mylene Dizon, who plays Rome, won for Best Actress. The film received an invitation to be exhibited at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. NYIIFVF Director Stuart Alson has already set Rome and Juliet for screening in New York in July this year.

Even in Manila, the film has been reaping praise from critics. Mario Bautista noted in his Freehand column in People’s Journal that “the love scenes have much commercial appeal, and they’re wonderfully integrated in the story. The acting is also excellent”. Comedienne and veteran talk show host Tessie Tomas also won raves for playing Juliet’s mother.

Because of the critical and commercial success of Rome and Juliet, Cinema One is bringing it back for a limited one-week theatrical run from February 14 to 21 Valentine’s Day, at the Indie Sine Theater of Robinsons Galleria.

Macatuno—known in the industry as a cutting-edge director—admits that the film works off a non-traditional concept, but hopes that it will find a mainstream audience. “Aside from helping establish the digital film industry, more than anything, I hope that the film gets the message across that love is universal, and that it knows no gender,” she says.

Also starring in the film are Miko Palanca, Lui Villaruz, Joshua Deocareza, Glydel Mercado, CJ Mercado and Tessie Tomas. Rome and Juliet is produced by Creative Programs, Inc. thru the Cinema One Originals digital movie project.


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