Thursday, September 5, 2013

Romeo + Juliet Trailer

Romeo + Juliet Trailer (automatically opens in a separate window)

Baz Luhrman's 1996 version of Romeo + Juliet captures many aspects of the play that others often overlook. For example, Shakespeare wrote that Juliet was 13 (almost 14), yet most actresses playing Juliet look to be in their mid twenties. Having a young cast only strengthens the tragedy. It's a bit peculiar at times, with swords turned into guns and crazy Hawaiian shirts, but the play isn't meant to be somber the entire time.

As a side note, I also adore Shakespeare in Love and She's the Man, so check those out too!


  1. Unlike many film adaptations, this one uses Shakespeare's language rather than an updated script. What do you think of the effect?

  2. To start with, the use of Shakespeare’s original language throws you, the viewer, but as you continue watching, you realize that this presentation is not the wordy contortion that most people connect with Shakespeare.

    I found that most of the credit for this clarity goes to the actors. Although they speak only in iambic pentameter, they appear to be talking naturally. They do not present their lines in the exaggerated, affected manner that most adopt when reading Shakespeare.

    In the end, you walk away from the movie with a huge respect for the script, and all of the beautiful metaphors that it contains. Re-writing the script wouldn’t produce this admiration, because as difficult as it can be at times, Shakespeare’s prose is stunning, magnificent, dazzling, spectacular. However you see it, the words have the power to move people more than any old paraphrase.