This wonderfully, romantic, modern day film of William Shakespeare is sure to make your heart throb. Shakespeare’s poetic script combines action and comedy in this intense, tragic love story. Set in modern day Verona, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Romeo.
He is a young man all wrapped up in love but he has a taste for evil (at least in the film). Claire Danes plays the role of Juliet, a thirteen-year-old girl who is very noble to her parents and is trying to enjoy her life as a young girl. Juliet has never been in love before until she meets Romeo at her father’s party. It is love at first sight.
But there is one problem: they are both from opposite sides of feuding families- Romeo is a Montague and Juliet is a Capulet. They struggle to remain lovers through private meetings, but a conflict arises when Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, challenges Romeo to a duel one day in Verona’s streets. Mercutio, a very good friend of Romeo, plays a very dramatic role in this scene. Another conflict occurs when a young nobleman named Paris asks for Juliet’s hand in marriage.
She refuses because she is already in love with Romeo but she is forced to get married to Paris by her father. Will Juliet marry Paris and never see Romeo again? This film displays a theme of hasty decisions by many characters that could have changed the outcome. Director Baz Luhrman did an excellent job of editing and revising Shakespeare’s ending emphasizing this theme even more. The costumes of this particular “Romeo and Juliet” are of today and instead of swords the characters use guns.
Horses are obviously not used but instead cars. One thing that I found kind of strange was when the characters would fire off their guns people never ran or screamed, instead they carried on as if nothing had ever happened, especially during the beach scene. The dialogue can be confusing at times but it still makes for a good movie. This is why I would recommend this movie to older and mature teenagers and to all adults.
If you appreciate poetry or William Skakespeare’s book “Romeo and Juliet” then this has to be put on your “must see” list. I give this movie ****.