Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
is one of the most classic tales and has been retold a thousand times in a thousand ways. The version that I will be discussing is Romeo and Juliet by Gareth Hinds. This version uses text that is similar to that of the original version by Shakespeare, but tells the story as a graphic novel.
Personally I believe that Shakespeare is better in its truest form a play with minimal staging or a video of just that. Of course it is not always possible to view Shakespearian plays in that case I believe that it is best read in its original language.
That being said I appreciate that the author of this graphic novel tried to keep the text in its original form. I also understand that when rewriting a story, especial when it is in a different form, it is difficult to keep the original text. Especially when the original text is so intricately written.
I also appreciated the changes in ethnicity of the main characters. As I have said before I am a fan of Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda. I bring this up because both chose change the ethnicities from the expected. I like this because it makes something like history or Shakespeare more accessible to people of color. This also helps to modernize the stories of Shakespeare which everyone can relate to.
In the authors note Hinds explains how he changed the story and geography and why he does this. I really appreciate that he explains his reasoning because like I said before I prefer Shakespeare in its truest form. I like that he explains why he changes things because it proves that he was trying to stay true to the story and cultural context.
Overall I like this version of Romeo and Juliet because it tries to stay true to the original text but changes things so that the story can be seen for how applicable it is to everyone.
One of my favorite movies that I have discovered more recently is Apocalypse Now (1979). This movie follows the basic plot of the book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, which is also one of my favorites. It uses the Korean war as setting and explores the bounds of the human mind. Like Heart of Darkness, there are no good words to describe this movie because of the material that it covers. Though the plot is important it only vaguely describe what the movie is actually about.As I’ve talked about before I tend to like stories that cover more vague topics or the mind and mental capacity. This movie does exactly that. (source)
I must admit that I watched this movie in school as part of a unit in an english class but there were plenty of rumors from the class above us about how good the movie was so we were all pretty excited to see it and to top it off the day we watched it was the same day that teacher had surround sound speakers installed in his room so it was quite the experience.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to watch something that will make them think. Also a word of caution: this movie is quite violent at times and definitely covers extremely mature subject mater. When we watched this movie as a class our teacher felt inclined to warn us when there would be a graphic scene, which was defiantly appreciated by some members of the class even though we were all seniors in high school.(source) Overall I love this movie and would definitely recommend it to anyone who thinks they can handle it. I find it tells a really insightful story about human nature and the capacity of the human mind.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer is a wonderful book about a half cyborg half human girl who discovers that she is the key to saving the world.
Admittedly I read this entire book in what was essentially one sitting. I do believe that had an impact on how I felt about this book. What I mean by that is I really felt like this book dragged on and even worse I feel like Meyer was well aware of that because the story seamed to be a little bit crazy. The middle of the story in particular was kind of hard to follow because of everything that was happening.
My only other major critique of this book is that it is written at quite a low level for the material that it covers. If you’re looking for a light read with a familiar story then this is probably a good thing for you. However when I picked this book up I was hoping to be stimulated. Mostly because the story covers some fairly mature material.
Don’t get me wrong this was a great story and an incredibly detailed. Meyers doses a wonderful job of creating an entire world in the short space of this book. Not only does she describe the appearance of the changed world but she also explores the details of social classes and eventually the relationships between the different groups of people. I found that this story very interesting and one of the more unique takes on the “Cinderella story.”
When I first read the summary on the back of the book I was nervous about reading a book that (source) included space robots and was still supposed to be a Cinderella story, but Meyer uses the different aspect of the main character in an refined way that is not at all what I was expecting when I read that it was about space robots.
Overall I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in young adult fantasy/ sci-fi that is looking for a fairly light read.