Review on Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Essay by daz_t July 2004

download word file, 5 pages 3.7

A short review of Director Baz Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet called:- William Shakespeare's Romeo+ Juliet.

In this piece of work my aim is to give a short review of Luhrmann's work. This film was released in 1996 and unlike the others that have tried to imitate Shakespeare's work Luhrmann tried a new approach. He set the film not in the time Shakespeare deemed it to be set but in a modern day setting. Though Luhrmann changes the setting by a couple of hundred years he doesn't change the language. He sticks near enough to Shakespeare text. The semiotics(language) involved here are quite important because if people cant understand the language they need to be able to follow the film by other means like the music and actions as I will explain further on in this essay.

Though the film is a tragedy it has lot of comedic issues this is shown best in the garage scene at the beginning of the film.

The basic set up of this scene is not unlike the set up of Zeffirelli's version of the film. Zeffirelli's version is set in the Market a place where people would meet in the time deemed and Luhrmann's is set at a garage where people often meet today. To place the scene in Shakespeare's text it is the part before the fighting when the line "you bite your thumb at me sir is used". The part that makes this comedic rather than tragic is the over exaggeration of the characters actions during the fight and during the rest of the film. An important aspect of the change from Shakespeare's text and Luhrmann's is that they have guns instead of swords, though the guns do say silver sword down the side of them relating them back to...