Film review of Romeo and Juliet Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:15
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Tears, laughter, fear and desperation. These are just some of the emotions youre guaranteed to endure whilst viewing the epic tragedy that is, Romeo and Juliet. This classic love story was first written by William Shakespeare in 1591, it was adapted for screenplay by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce. This version was first released in 1996, Baz Luhrmann, the critically acclaimed director of the film, brought a modern, energetic and unforgettable quality to a fantastic theatre piece. With a budget of $14,500,000 and making $46,400,000 in the box office, Romeo and Juliet was an immediate hit.

This was highlighted in awards ceremonies where the film achieved 3 BAFTAs and 2 Oscar nominations proving its heartbreaking brilliance. Romeo and Juliet begins with the knowledge that two star-crossed lovers have taken their lives due to constant bickering and fighting between two dignified and highly respected families, The Montagues and The Capulets. At the start of the film, we are taken on a whirlwind tour of Verona beach, where the movie is set, we can see that a high proportion of the businesses are owned by either the Montague or Capulet family.

During the appearances of the Montague and Capulet families, we can see a significant difference immediately. The Montagues wear bright Hawaiian shirts and board shorts, whereas the Capulets look a lot more sophisticated, wearing mainly black/brown western styled outfits. This makes you think that perhaps the Capulets are a lot more serious and noble than the Montagues in the younger generations. The movie takes us through Romeo and Juliets story, from a fairy tale meeting and a lustrous affair, to true romance and passion that eventually leads to their deaths in one of the most moving scenes in film history.

With a cast of stars, including Leonardo De Caprio (Titanic, The Beach, The Talented Mr Ripley) playing Romeo and Claire Danes (Polish Wedding, Stray Dogs) playing Juliet, the film was always sure to shine. The tears Romeo cries appear to come straight from the heart of De Caprio, this leaves you wanting to solve his problems and see that Romeo and his Juliet are together forever, which they of course are. Baz Luhrmann was born in Australia but grew up in Northern New South Wales, he first began film productions in 1985 after attending the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney.

The first well-known film that Luhrmann independently released was Strictly Ballroom (1992) surprisingly Romeo and Juliet was only the second major film he released, in 1996. This was followed by the enchanting and mesmerising Moulin Rouge(2000), which was an immediate hit, boasting one of the most astounding soundtracks ever made. The music in Luhrmanns films seems to revolve around a theme of amazing orchestral pieces building up to climaxes that make your hair stand on end.

In both Moulin Rouge and Romeo and Juliet, Luhrmann uses singers to give you goose bumps, that are superior to any previously heard. Besides his ability to give you singing voices that will fill you with tears or joy, Luhrmann also achieves this with his perfectly selected sets. During one of the final scenes, in which Romeo finds Juliet, the family tomb is filled with candles, the dim light shed from these gives the perfect romantic yet tense atmosphere that the scene requires.

Before the final tragedy occurs, Luhrmann draws you into the puppy love apparent in Juliet and Romeo, portraying them as Loves Young Dream. This only makes it worse when you witness their dreams being shattered. The circumstances of their deaths were always going to be heart-wrenching, but Luhrmann breaks your heart, as Romeo gently walks through the dimly lit tomb to his dead lovers side. Their last kiss is almost as traumatic as the deaths themselves, to see the fear and desperation in Juliets (Clare Danes) eyes, knowing shes lost her first love.

Its at points like this, that you can see how talented Luhrmann is at raising the anticipation up to a level at which you actually need to know more. Throughout their (Romeo & Juliets) final kiss, you find yourself praying Juliet wakes up, even though you already know she wont. Even though this is the films most tearful moment, the most spectacular scene is the confrontation at the petrol station, which gives you an idea of the rivalry and sheer hatred between the two families.

The line Peace, I hate the word, like I hate¦. and all Montagues. Spoken by Tybalt, a Capulet, this shows how forbidden Romeo and Juliets love would have been. However, there are points at which the delivery of lines is somewhat impersonal, for example in some scenes involving Juliet and the nurse, its almost as if the characters dont actually know what theyre saying in modern English, and have purely learnt the lines without pursuing the issue further.

Yet, with other characters, such as, Romeo and Mercutio, you actually feel that this is the language they normally use, the delivery of lines is in such a way that the actors appear to be deeply involved with their character. MERCUTIO is such an effective Mercutio, he brings comedy to every moment, even when he is dying he would make the audience giggle, if they were not so emotionally torn by emotional pain at the same time.

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