Baz Luhrmann releases his new 20th century adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” which includes drugs, sex and cross-dressing, unlike anything you will have experienced in other productions than it was eighteen years ago. This new adaptation with modernization like new sporty cars, drugs, etc, etc which all youngsters are familiar with and aware of will certainly catch their eye. Its definitely not another boring Romeo And Juliet love story. Modernization like the actors in the film taking drugs was not used in its last production of Romeo And Juliet eighteen years ago. This was used to catch the eye of the teenagers. Neither were war and gang artilleries like a 54 calibre and shot guns were not used either. It’s definitely something someone would not want to miss.Order now
The first thing that strikes you is Baz Luhrmann’s original use of setting. Compared to the old settings used in the last production, Luhrmann has used a modern type of setting to do its scenes. This made it look different from the clichï¿½ scenes which everyone was familiar with and added a bit of another different flavour into it. There were 4 scenes which were very different and Luhrmann had focused a lot on those scenes; which means that a long shot was taken on them. The first one was at the petrol station which was shot towards the beginning of the movie (during the first 20 minutes) and it was in the city centre of Verona. This showed us the skyscrapers instead of those mansions which were found in its last production. Instead of showing us the deserted streets of Verona, Baz Luhrmann decided to shoot the scene in a crowded place with high buildings and cars. This told us about the modernisation used here. The other scene was “the beach” scene, where the fight carried on from the petrol station.
Here, instead of using the streets of Verona he used the “petrol station” and the “the beach” which are much more crowded and has life in them with the girls in bikinis to clearly attract young audiences. Whenever someone hears about Rome and Juliet, the first thing that strikes their minds is the “balcony scene” which was shot repeatedly in the past productions of Romeo And Juliet. But again, Baz Luhrmann revolutionised this by using the pool in Juliet’s mansion instead of the balcony scene. The audience will find this different and might wonder that how could the director has cut the famous balcony scene. As I mentioned before, the shot was done in a modern city with big developments. It had much of an urban landscape rather than of a small town. Baz Luhrmann’s use of different camera tricks also added a spice to the movie. The effects like the slow motion movements didn’t even exist during the ’50’s. This made the scenes to be visible much more easier to the public so that they could see what was actually happening. Another one was the aerial view which was shot twice. Once was towards the end of the movie where Romeo was running away and how the police was chasing him. The other time it was shot was during the beginning when the Montagues and the Capulets had a feud in the streets of the Verona. Therefore, all this refreshes the “traditional” sets.
With these modern landscapes Luhrmann’s characters take on a larger than life persona. Their costumes were very different from the past productions. The actor’s costumes were criticised a lot in the party which was held in Capulet’s mansion. The costume worn by Lady Capulet in this production doesn’t match her character as she is strict and a straight forward woman. When we read the book, we can say that Lady Capulet depends totally on her husband and doesn’t do anything without his permission. Lady Capulet is not mentioned in the book during the party and neither is Paris. The rare scene which surprises everyone is Lady Capulet kissing Paris during the party.
This is a rare adaptation because no one is waiting for this scene. It’s just a waste a time as it doesn’t play a key role in the story. The character who’s costume was similar to the last production was of Friar Lawrence as he is dressed in the clichï¿½d priest’s robe. But the fact that is different is the age of Friar Lawrence in this production. In the earlier production, Friar Lawrence is quite old and is found in his early 60’s. But in the production, Friar Lawrence seems quite young to be a priest. The costumes of the gang members of the Capulets and the Montagues are quite modern and realistic and they are found in any gang these days. Their boots have their group’s sign or name printed on it. The guns used are more real like the 40 caliber, mp40, Magnum guns, AK 47’s, etc. All these are used to clearly attract teen audiences which prefer blood shot scenes. Again, their costumes clearly contain metal leathered jackets, heavy bracelets.
Luhrmann’s adaptation though is at its most intelligent when he modernises Shakespeare’s world. The use of Religion, guns, use of drugs, music has been made use of in this production of Baz Luhrmann to make it different, attractive and more relevant to a teenage audience. Music plays an important rule in this version as it adds tension to the required parts of the story. When Romeo and Juliet die at the end, there is the slow type of music which creates sadness among the audiences and make the audiences wonder how could such a coincidence like Juliet waking up and Romeo dying at the same moment. Whereas, during the fight between the Capulets and the Montagues, the type of music which was played in that scene contains quite heavy and fast music, which again creates tension among the viewers. Guns are used instead of swords and shields. This makes it thousand times attractive and interesting to watch when each one tries to miss the bullet.