Sunday, 23 October 2011

Film Review: Romeo and Juliet (1996 Version)

  • Name: Romeo and Juliet
  • Released: UK - 28th March 1997
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller, Romance & Tragedy
  • Duration: 120 mins
  • Director: Baz Luhrmann
  • Writer: William Shakespeare (play), Craig Pearce & Baz Luhrmann
My Review:
I felt that the way that this film was cast was absolutely superb so I take my hat off to them for that. Leonardo DiCaprio played a hunky yet sensitive Romeo whilst Claire Danes, just sixteen at the time of shooting, played a convincing, innocent Juliet. Tybalt, played by John Leguizamo, I have to say was probably the best characterisation out of all of them. He was feisty and fiery - just how I imagined Tybalt, Prince of Cats, to be like. Sampson, Mercutio, Friar Laurence and the Nurse were also cast very well.
However, having said that, although I thought it was very clever how they modernised it, the way that they mixed Shakesperian language with a modern setting really put me off. My view is that you either do Shakespeare or you do a modern versions; you don't mix them. I commend Craig Pearce & Baz Luhrmann for having a go as many film makers have been put off remaking Shakespeare as it can go really well, or it can go awfully. But, contradicting that last statement, I think even though I dislike the combination of a modern setting and characters and Shakesperian language, I think this film isn't as bad as it could be.
The romance and the chemistry shown onscreen between DiCaprio and Danes is captivating although I believe the ending could have been more dramatic, romantic and lasted longer.
Overall, I think that this is an alright remake of the film and does some sort of justice to Shakespeare's work.
Overall Rating: 4.1/5
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