- Director: Baz Luhrmann
- With: Claire Danes, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harold Perrineau, John Leguizamo, Paul Sorvino, Pete Postletwhaite, Miriam Margolys, Jamie Kennedy, Brian Dennehy, Paul Rudd, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Jesse Bradford, M. Emmet Walsh, Dash Mihok, Diane Venora
- Music by: Nellee Hooper, Craig Armstrong, Marius De Vries
- Duration: 2h
- Rating: 10/10
If thou hast no recognition of my love for thyne movies, Mister Luhrmann, so shall ye know, here and now!
Oh my, where have the days gone to when I was so excited to go see this in the cinema… where have the years gone to that I was that young?
Based upon the tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the Elizabethan era. With its sexual candor, this must have been quite the scandalous novel/play in its time… ‘What is a Montague? It’s nor hand, nor foot, nor any other part belonging to a man.’ He hides it well but there was enough innuendo in his writing to have girls snicker and men open their eyes in unbelief, I’m sure (this might even have been the sweetest quote with this kind of innuendo)
Baz Luhrmann adapted this play, which has had a lot of adaptations over the years since it was written (either on stage or as a movie) and always has the time been set in the era when it was written… but Luhrmann decided to do it otherwise, thinking ‘How would Shakespeare’s play be written if it were set in the present time?’ And present time was 1996, the era of the MTV-generation. A time where everything went fast, flashing by, with bright colours and young practically naked bodies, with designer drugs on the rise and the music droning in our ears! (Great music, if I may say so!)
I may have said this in earlier reviews for movies or even books, but I am a child of the eighties and nineties (I was seventeen when this was released) and I had a romantic streak (still do, I dare hope) and I was mesmerised by this movie when I went to see it at theatres 🎭 This was something new, undone and at the time even a bit crazy! Who in his right mind would make a movie so flashing and with such a modern look and use the original texts by Shakespeare? And if there’s one thing I’m a huge fan of is ‘crazy’ (the positive kind)
And adding to its beautiful looks is that amazing soundtrack with songs by Radiohead (Talk Show Host, Exit Music), Garbage (#1 Crush), Des’ree (Kissing you), Candi Staton (Young Hearts), Prince (When doves cry) and of course The Cardigans’ Lovefool! (Luhrman did something similar with Moulin Rouge, those are my two favourite soundtracks in my collection!)
This movie was also an introduction for me to a few actors, especially Danes and DiCaprio (I had a crush on the man after this movie 🙈)!
And I’m man enough to admit it, each and every single time I watch this movie I shed tears… when Mercutio dies on the beach (A plague on both your houses!), when Romeo sees the comatose Juliet and offs himself (Thy drugs are quick), when Juliet sees him dying and then his last words and she finally stabs (shoots) herself to be forever with her Romeo! (And thus I die… with a kiss! – Thy lips are warm!)
This movie made me fall in love with the story, with Shakespeare and with Luhrmann’s movies… This was a game changer in its days (its yonder days)
‘Forswear it, sight! for I never saw true beauty till this night’ ♥️
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