Baz Lurhmann Interpretation of Romeo and Juliet Essay

Romeo and Juliet Question : Some people really like this film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet while the others dislike it intensely . What is your opinion of this film ? Baz Lurhmann’s version of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” has been widely recognized as a modernized tale of the famous star-crossed lovers. While there are many mixed opinions on Luhrmann’s adaptation, I believe that this film is an extremely well interpretation of the original play.

This was made possible through recreating the story in a setting and time that was understandable to the audience of a younger generation today, casting actors that gave their best performances to the play, and blending modern elements effortlessly into the original script. Lurhmann offers a trendy, up to date re-telling of the classic love story of Romeo and Juliet that appeals to many audience members alike. The movie takes place in a fictional city called “Verona Beach” in Florida, replacing medieval Verona in Italy from the original Shakespearian play.

The story is set in the modern-day era, while the play is set in the Shakespearean times. Verona Beach is a town where roaming Montague and Capulet gangs blast away at each other with weapons. Even though the movie is set in a modern day Verona, it still shows the beauty of the romance between the two teenagers and keeps in Shakespeare’s dialogue. The language works partly because Lurhmann places this tale in an imagined modern world – a place with cars and guns where people talk in “thees” and thous.   Romeo and Juliet holds on to all the complexities of the play, but also manages to offer a more direct approach that is easily understood to all. The movie is hip, stylized and intended to attract the younger generation with the aim to increase their knowledge and appreciation of the play. This is done by presenting a powerful modern interpretation of the original tale. The casting of Leonardo Di Caprio as Romeo and Claire Danes as Juliet are good choices as they both gave their best performance in the movie.

One of Romeo’s most important characteristics in the play is the intensity of his emotions, and DiCaprio captures this aspect incredibly. Romeo is impulsive, with a tendency to act on the heat of the moment rather than to first consider the situation like the more levelheaded Juliet. This trait, which played a huge role in leading up to the lovers’ tragic fate is mastered by DiCaprio and kept throughout the film. Claire Dane’s portrayal of Juliet was brilliant, as she even looked the part, with her youthful features and innocent eyes.

Danes captures Juliet’s distressing journey from childhood to womanhood, and shows the dramatic transition which had taken toll on her during her five day relationship with Romeo. When the story begins, Juliet is a naive girl, having not yet experienced true love, and by the end, we can clearly see how much her love for Romeo has deepened in passion, and how dramatically her character has developed. Overall, the actors don’t give stereotypical, theatrical performances, but instead use their own modern style and Americanized accents.

The actors played their role well and portrayed the characters as Shakespeare intended, which makes this film a superb interpretation of the play. Instead of retelling the story over and over again in the same fashion, Lurhmann kept the idea fresh by putting in modern elements to the movie. In addition to many of the characters being updated, many of the props were replaced with modern-day props. Gun play replaced sword play in the movie.

The characters use guns with brand names such as “Sword 9mm”, (which was used in the beginning gas station shootout) and “Dagger” (which Mercutio throws to the ground before using his fists”. The TV Anchorwoman replaces the narrator, the opening fight takes place at a gas station, and the famous romantic balcony encounter now occurs in the swimming pool. Other elements like the taking of drugs and the drag act appear convincingly with the original dialogue as if they were always meant to be there.

In conclusion, I believe Lurhmann presents a unique vision of the movie by adding an interesting modernized twist to the Shakespearean play. By remaking the movie from a classic tale, Lurhmann was able to tell his own version of the story to younger viewers. Giving the classic play this modern twist makes for a new understanding of the text and brings the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets to a whole new level. This film is an excellent interpretation of the original play, as it is shown by the re-creation of setting and time.

This is done through creating another dimension that is modernized yet still retains the Shakespearean language. The character portrayal was done exceptionally by the actors and is followed closely through the play. The modern elements added to the story such as the change of props was blended into the original script without changing the storyline. English classes all over the world can relax when it comes to take the Romeo and Juliet final exam because this new adaptation makes the play understandable.