New SIFF Review: Nobody

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Romeo and Juliet in contemporary Athens? Not exactly. Director Christos Nikoleris adds street racing, MTV cutting, Greek hip-hop, and elements of The Odyssey to his tale of young love and rival clans, but the cocktail tastes flat despite his very polished glass. Some of the modern updates, however, translate nicely from Shakespeare's original. When this Romeo, a bookish Russian immigrant actually named Goran (Antinoos Albanis) climbs the famous balcony for a kiss with Albanian 17-year-old Julia (Georgina Liossi), he then falls onto a parked car below, setting off a wailing alarm.

Loutish lads trade cell-phone sex videos of their latest conquests; meanwhile, virginal Julia is repeatedly slapped and beaten back home by her conservative Muslim family for consorting with an outsider. Goran, too, is becoming estranged from his Russkie The Fast and the Furious-style crew; he dreams of eloping with Julia until a knife fight leaves her brother dying on the floor. Then, you expect, Nobody will follow Shakespeare's tragic path. But it doesn't, and what you make of the ending depends on your tolerance for fantasy versus textual fidelity. Nobody doesn't have enough street racing or doomed passion to satisfy on either score. But if there's an American remake, Vin Diesel has a lock on the role of Goran's bro Merkut, who growls, "It's about my reputation." Shakespeare couldn't have said it better. BRIAN MILLER (Pacific Place: 9:15 p.m. Tues., May 31.)

 
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