a short film by Laurie Lynd
2010 | 22 mins | Canada
›› Verona
a modern gay take on Romeo and Juliet.
Verona by Laurie Lynd Inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, this modern gay take on the greatest love story ever told is guaranteed to please, even in this abridged form.

Then again, screenwriter Glenn Ripps has made some delightful twists and tweaks to the timeless tale of love and tragedy, in the process reworking the feuding Capulets and Montagues as rival fraternities and a masked Halloween party that is set to see "officially straight" freshman Brandon of the Kappa fraternity, fall head over heels in love with sexually experimental Gamma fraternity member Xam. Destined to become lovers, it isn't long before Drew, the Mercutio of the story and founder of the underground Taint magazine sees in their relationship the means by which to bring down the House of Kappa, whatever the consequences be.

Verona by Laurie Lynd Playing like a fully fledged feature, this homage to the Shakespearean classic has a lot going for it, even if Laurence Olivier Theatre Award nominee Scott Wentworth is somewhat underused in this version, his dramatic confrontation with his outed son all by obvious by its absence, leaving screen veteran Cedric Smith to shine as Dean "let your houses be forewarned" August. That said, Breakfast with Scot director Laurie Lynd has dipped wisely into the casting well, with many a star of the hit television series Degrassi: The Next Generation letting rip and here cue Shane Kippel as George, Devon Bostick as Christopher, alongside headliners John Bregar and Shannon Kook-Chun as hot lovers Brandon and Xan.

True, nods and winks, let alone updates to the works of the Bard of Avon are many and this short, part original prose, part words a-new, weaves its seductive tale around many a line, including its own take on the play's famed "wherefore art thou" scene. Yet with a cast that equally includes Dean Armstrong of Queer As Folk USA fame as Drew and No Night Is Too Long co-star Salvatore Antonio Migliore as Queen Mab; the divine like owner of an underground dance club devoted to sexual freedom, this spirited re-imaging of the fate awaiting a pair of star-cross'd lovers is one short film that frankly, is crying out for feature length expansion. Bright, sexy and beautifully shot and styled from start to adjournment. Simply captivating.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 
starring: John Bregar / Brandon, Shannon Kook-Chun / Xan, Dean Armstrong / Drew, Brittany Allen / Paris,
Devon Bostick / Christopher, Douglas Nyback / Clay, Salvatore Antonio Migliore / Queen Mab,
Cedric Smith / Dean August, Scott Wentworth / Brandon's father Redwood, Janet-Laine
Green / Tish, Mishael Morgan / Tamara, Tamara Duarte / Amy, Steven Yaffee /
Ringo, Shane Kippel / George and Marco Grazzini as the Jock.
official website: www.veronathemovie.com
Copyright 2011 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
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