SM Digital Theater North Edsa hosted the special advance screening of “Gnomeo & Juliet” last April 12, 2011 attended by VIPs, the Press, theatre industry partners, brand partners and other special guests. The said premiere was a culmination of SM Cinema Beyond Entertainment event where guests will be updated with the goings-on at SM Cinema, the largest cinema exhibitor in the country today.
Aptly set in Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-Upon-Avon, “Gnomeo & Juliet” highlights the heated rivalry between neighbors Mr. Capulet and Miss Montague, who’ve taken their zeal for gardening to a whole new level. Their gardens overflow with kitsch plaster garden gnomes who, when the humans are out of sight, have taken up their respective owner’s non-neighborly behavior. The feud has taken on an even more personal nature with the gnomes, where simply being a Red from the Red Garden or a Blue from the Blue Garden comes with a host of prejudices that most don’t understand, yet fail to question.
“Why gnomes?” asks producer Baker Bloodworth. “Why not gnomes? This story is worth telling; it’s relevant. I think the artwork is joyous and vibrant and colorful and it has Elton John tying it all together.”
Fortunately for the garden gnomes, in addition to an extraordinary soundtrack featuring both new songs and classics from the Elton John-Bernie Taupin library, this version offers an all-new third act—replacing Shakespeare’s tragic conclusion. “I think this is definitely the ending that people always wanted from Romeo and Juliet,” says Emily Blunt, who lends her voice to Juliet (and actually kicked off her career on stage as a more traditional Juliet at the 2002 Chichester Festival). James McAvoy, incidentally, provides the voice of Gnomeo.
“The theme of the movie is that love can overcome hate; that’s universal,” adds Bloodworth. “It plays to everybody. We aim to entertain people and to send them out the door with something to think about.”
But what would Shakespeare think?
“He was a great storyteller,” says Bloodworth. “I expect he’d have good fun with this.”
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Opening across SM Cinemas on April 13 in full 3D and regular formats, “Gnomeo & Juliet” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.