Dateline Movies Goes to DUP's Romeo and Juliet

#R</3 J: A Multimedial Hallucination On William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

Play rating: R-16 (For Strong Language and Sensitive Theme)

Play Dates: Opened August 26 2015, Ended September 13, 2015

Genre/s: Adaptation, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Tragedy

Presented by Dulaang UP

Director: Dexter M. Santos

Writer: Guelan Varela - Luarca

Music Designer: Krina Cayabyab

  • Roco Sanchez as R. Montes
  • Francesca Go / Jom Logdat as J. Capule
  • Ricky Ibe as Cong. Montes
  • Mitoy Sta. Ana as Mayor Capule
  • Rence Aviles as Ben
  • Jon Abella as Markky
  • Stephen Viñas as "Tybalt" Capule Jr.
  • Marynor Madamesila as Mrs. Capule / Mrs. Montes / Psychiatrist
  • Leo Rialp as William Shakespeare
  • Jom Logdat / Angela Cepeda as Rosaline

It's Romeo and Juliet unlike you've never seen before. Welcome once more to Dateline Movies. Loyal readers may have noticed that I have started making myself available for Entertainment Events. That is the very reason why we added it as a category in this blog to accommodate all the other entertainment events that we are expecting to be part of. This is our official review of Dulaang UP's psychedelic interpretation of the beloved Shakespearean tragedy.


What's the play about?

Some parts of the story has been partially narrated by a hallucinatory version of William Shakespeare, played by Rialp (ABS-CBN's Oh My G).

In the metropolitan area known as Verona, also known as the City of Love, two families are at odds as the patriarchs, Cong. Montes, played by Ibe (Noli) and Mayor Capule, played by Sta. Ana (Measure For Measure), vie for control of the place.

Right in the middle of the political battles, scandalous vices and retweets, R. Montes, played by Sanchez (Ouroboros' Ang Ahas), fails again and again to move-on from his then girlfriend Rosaline, played by either Logdat or Cepeda (Ang Nawalang Kapatid and Heritage respectively). His best friend Markky, played by Abella (Adarna) and his cousin Ben, played by Aviles(Haring Ubu) stick by his side as they go on their usual escapades including partying in night clubs.

On the other side, J. Capule, played by either Go or Logdat (Riddle of the Sphinx for Go), encounters corruption and infidelity within the family. Her overprotective cousin "Tybalt", played by Viñas (Rizal X) takes care of her.

One fateful night at a local club when the two were having time of their lives, R. and J. met and the two soon fell in love. Can R. and J.'s love prevail over all obstacles, such as spammers from Facebook, and prove that love can truly conquer all? 

What we think of the play?

The rating system for each category would have 5 Points as the highest possible score, and 0 being the lowest. With a total of 5 categories, the total would be 25 points.

If the score reaches 20 - 25, the play / film is a must-see, thus earning the title of "Masterpiece".

If the score reaches around 15 - 19, the play / film is pretty good, although there are minor flaws, thus earning the title "Pleasant Entertainment".

If the score reaches around 10 - 14, the play / film may or may not be enjoyed by the majority, and it might have some redeeming qualities, thus earning the title "Okay?".

If the score reaches around 5 - 9, the play / film is not much worth the effort to watch. Most would find joy by making fun at the flaws, thus earning the title "Nitpick Worthy".

If the score reaches a score equal or below 4, the play / film is no good. It's boring or overtly offensive. Poor production background and less than stellar acting are seen here, thus earning the title "Nope".

Acting and Choreography= (5/5)

Of course, as you would expect from a stage production, there should be top-notch acting. And boy oh boy, this play just has that. We especially would like to commend Sanchez and Go's somewhat rocky chemistry. Ibe and Sta. Ana were extremely incredible as the fathers of the two. They really do feel like politicians in real life. Another credit goes to Madamesila (WANTED: Dead or Dying) for playing Mrs. Capule / Montes and a psychiatrist.

The ensemble, well what can we say, they are all organized. They know exactly when to do this and do that, they know their cues. The use of an ensemble to represent concrete materials is a brilliant addition and this was actually the first time I saw such idea in a play. There was one glaring flaw however, and though mostly easily ignored, it confused some of us viewers. That error was the part when J. viewed R.'s suicide video (Oops, spoiler alert?), and the reenactment of R.'s death was not the same as the one we saw. Unless this could mean that the one we saw was simply from his point-of-view.

Production Value, Props and Designs = (5/5)

With all the flare crowding the stage, it was a good thing that the story was not buried under all the bright and colorful lights and the choreographed dance routines. The set pieces, although simple, we would say is creative. Like we said, the ensemble was great in pretending to be things. Personally, we feel that the use of the large screen to serve as a narrative device is impressive. This allowed the audience to understand what is really happening. The addition of social website being flashed on screen was an excellent touch, which technically fulfilled the promise of a multimedial hallucination. The overuse of flashing lights is the biggest con, because in a way they distract the audience.

Story, Dialogues and Flow = (4/5)

Since I already heard of the story of Romeo and Juliet time-and-time again, I didn't really expect much. Boy tries to move on from girl. Another girl meets boy by chance. Families hate each other, etc. Basically, almost all everything about the story is predictable and are walking cliches. The use of profanity was somehow used effectively here, although it may be a little too much. This perfectly reflects the dark and grittiness the realism the story wants to show. The scene where the curses were bleeped out was especially funny, confirming that not all scenes need to have it to stand out. 

Ending, Originality and Story Fulfillment = (4/5)

Like I said, the play was quite predictable, so the ending was very clear even before we saw it. Although not much new can be added to the already complex story of Shakespeare's work, we would give some points for originality, as this is the first time (we think) we saw dancing in a tragedy story. We loved how the story ended, though it did not went by the books. What turned out very surprising was the absence of a curtain call as the audience didn't know whether it was time to leave or not.

Overall Evaluation = (5/5)

As a whole, the play is truly a treat to watch which made me realize that I should have watched it earlier so I could have encouraged more to watch. Regardless, I can ask you guys to watch Romeo + Juliet if you haven't watched it yet because the two are somewhat similar. If they ever would do a rerun, I would recommend everyone to buy tickets as early as possible.

TOTAL = 23 / 25 (Masterpiece)

Flashy, well-acted and perfectly produced, #R</3 J: A Multimedial Hallucination On William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet may be one of the best interpretations of the classic love story, flaws and all.

Well I guess that's it, and also we would like to thank Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (DUP) for inviting us to view the wonderful production. Truly, it was a one-of-a-kind experience. Watch out for DUP's next offering King Lear/Haring Lear for its 40th Theatre Season

In addition, thanks to you readers (also Deadpool), this blog is now nominated under the Arts and Entertainment category on #bloggys2015. It is really an honor. Plus, we wouldn't be one of the ten most influential emerging blogs if it weren't for you! Thank you so much! Stay tuned fellow Dateliners for our 100th post and 10th Spotted! entry, with Deadpool actually dropping by. So hooray for not chopping-off our heads. With all that said, adios!



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