Romeo And Juliet, A Review Of The Baz Luhrmann Film

1136 words - 5 pages

How affective an adaptation is Baz Lurhmann's version of Romeo and Juliet

To make a film following the storyline of one of Shakespeare's most well known plays is no easy task, especially as everyone knows how it ends. So Lurhmann decided to direct the film so it explains why rather than how the two lovers ended up taking their own lives.

The first technique Lurhmann used in the production of this film is the change in location. Verona has ceased to be mysterious and exotic to a modern day audience, the film has therefore been moved to Verona beach in New Mexico which is renound for it's high crime and drug rate but still maintains a large catholic population, this seems to be set in some time period between the nineteen forties and seventies, Montague and Capulet are replaced as rival corporations, the weapons: dagger, sword and long sword are turned into guns and given brand names and although the original language is used it is spoken with and American accent to make the audience feel at home.

Certain scenes have also been removed from the play, such as the market scene and the nurse being made fun of. This may be because Lurhmann felt these were vulgar scenes or he didn't feel they were necessary scenes, these are a few of the changes to the plot, others are the involvement of the friar in Romeo and Juliet's relationship, the fact that Juliet sees Romeo take the poison, the death of Paris has been excluded and after Juliet's refusal to marry him, the nurse does not turn her back on Juliet. Also, Mercutio's speech about queen mab is made to seem that he is talking about an ecstasy pill and quotes such as:

"she comes in shape no bigger than an agate-stone" this is referring to the pills size, the pill also has the shape of a fairy engraved on it as queen mab is supposed to be the fairy queen of dreams.

Another problem Lurhmann has encountered is there are certain characters that wouldn't be found in the modern era, these characters are the prince and the nurse. The prince has been replaced as "Captain" prince of the Verona beach police force who is frustrated by the gang wars between the Montague's and Capulet's elder children. The Nurse is portrayed as Juliet's minder, Paris is also played as the cheesy, perfect boyfriend every father wants his daughter to get married to Lurhmann has turned the delivery of the message to Romeo about Juliet into a "UPS" style delivery company called "post-haste delivery" this is because the friar asks for the message to be delivered "post-haste." Another character Lurhmann has changed is the role of the chorus who appears as a TV news reader who tells the opening quote of the play as if it is a tragic news story.

Weather plays a significant part in the key moments of the film. On the first point we meet Romeo he is found on a beach at sunrise, this portrays quiet, dark and mysterious character. When we meet Juliet she is submersed in water, this is seen in absolute silence, this gives...

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