Baz Luhrmans Version of Romeo and Juliet
On the question of setting, rather of the Verona of the sixteenth century in Italy, the action takes place in another Verona in the nineties, a seaside city controlled by 2 big skyscrapers belonging to the Montagues and the Capulets respectively, two foe commercial powers. The locations appearing in the play are hardly respected, nevertheless the Capulet s estate including its walls and garden appear both in the play and the movie due to the truth that the events taking place there are important because it is the place in which Romeo and Juliet s very first fulfill and develop their love affair.
Apart from this, they are forbidden for Romeo, so any other place would have reduced the stress of his intrusions. In addition to this, in the movie the streets of Verona are repeatedly replaced by the beach, therefore the friar Lawrence s cell by his chapel. It is typical to discover that whereas in a single scene of the play the events happen in a single area area, in the movie it is possible to see more than one, as in the case of the very first scene of the play in which a street of Verona is changed by a road, a gasoline station, a police station and the beach.
From all this it follows that these types of modifications produced in the setting are intended to offer the story an faster rate and variety to avoid any sign of statism that is a general propensity of business films. When handling characterisation it is necessary to consider that in Shakespeare’s work neither the Capulets nor the Montagues are plainly seen as good or bad characters. On the contrary, Luhrman reveals Lady and Lord Montague a lot more moderate and peaceful than the furious Lord Capulet and his pointless and unfaithful partner.
The representatives of both houses who fight in 1. 1 are likewise portrayed as good or bad characters. The Montagues wear bright and vibrant clothing making jokes and having a good time. On the contrary the Capulets appear wearing dark clothing, major and bold and in the fancy-dress ball scene while the latter are disguised as skeletons other than for Tybalt, who is characterised as the Devil. Apart from this the Romeo appearing in the movie appears to take their feelings to the limit, and Juliet is more than fourteen years of ages.
The aforementioned Tybalt is still being the provocative and vindictive character whose behaviour provokes the tragic ending, however in Luhrman s version he is sorry for having actually eliminated Mercutio and this is what does not let him neither kill Romeo nor defend from his shots. The most obvious change affects Paris given that from being the young gallant of the play he turns into an immature and ridicule millionaire.
On the question of the text itself there is no vital modifications however many elisions, around one 3rd, planned to get immediacy in the action, which gives the movie the required dynamism of this kind of movies as it occurs in the scene of the terrace (2. 2). Act five is the most striking example of this, since only one 4th of the text is preserved. By just reducing the initial text, this scene has been changed leaving apart all the characters however Romeo and Juliet, who in this version are permitted to see and kiss each other.
Romeo takes the poison, then Juliet wakes up and after Romeo s misery she dedicates suicide whereas in Shakespeare’s work, Juliet discovers his spouse currently dead. Apart from these elisions, some passages or sentences are extrapolated as when it comes to 5. 3., when Romeo says: “thy drugs are quick” referring to the apothecary’s poison. This sentence only appears before Romeo and his friends go to the fancy-dress ball describing the euphoria tablet that Mercutio gives him.
An interest case regarding to the text is prince Escalus’ last intervention (5. ), that in Luhrman’s versions is performed by a newsreader on a t. v. who likewise carries out the role of the chorus at the very beginning of the play. From all this, it follows that faithfulness is the keyword since this variation, unlike others as West Side Story by Jerome Robins and Robert Wise, keeps the basic plot, metrics and literary gadgets in order to accomplish a faithful and, at the exact same, time new vision of the Shakespeare’s work that keeps his poetic richness.