William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet

  • 12
  • Baz Luhrmann (1996)
  • US / Aus / Can
  • 115 min
William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Baz Luhrmann's flamboyantly hip, achingly modern and unashamedly teen-targeted update of Shakespeare's enduring romantic tragedy casts Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the star-crossed title roles. The lovers are transplanted from 15th-century Italy to MTV-era "Verona Beach" - a place of gang warfare, raves, motorbikes and party drugs. The dialogue is true to the text, but delivered as if it were modern parlance, while the soundtrack (a mix of alt-rock, dance and orchestral) keeps the narrative pumping along. A closer cousin to West Side Story than Franco Zeffirelli's lush 1968 classic, it couldn't be more palatable to younger audiences, while Pete Postlethwaite, Paul Sorvino and Miriam Margoyles add adult thespian gravitas. A bold, infectious and courageous entry to the canon of Shakespeare adaptations - abridged and tweaked, inevitably - it made DiCaprio a teen pin-up and minted Luhrmann as one of modern cinema's master showmen.

Plot Summary

Director Baz Luhrmann's dazzling adaptation of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. In Verona Beach, teenagers Romeo and Juliet meet by chance and fall in love. They plan to marry secretly because of the hostility between their families, the Montagues and the Capulets. But when Romeo kills Juliet's cousin in a gang fight and is banished, his plan to be reunited with his intended goes tragically wrong.

Cast and crew

Cast

Romeo
Leonardo DiCaprio
Juliet
Claire Danes
Ted Montague
Brian Dennehy
Tybalt
John Leguizamo
Father Laurence
Pete Postlethwaite
Fulgencio Capulet
Paul Sorvino
Gloria Capulet
Diane Venora
Mercutio
Harold Perrineau
Dave Paris
Paul Rudd
Balthasar
Jesse Bradford
Benvolio
Dash Mihok
Nurse
Miriam Margolyes

Crew

Director
Baz Luhrmann

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Guidance: 
Some violence, a sex scene.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Released 15 Feb 2013
Certificate 12
Distributor:
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Categories
Drama

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