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Sunday 8 April 2012

Nothing like a bit of Tragedy of a weekend.

Two things put Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in my mind this week-an intriguely placed fish tank (see above) in a restaurant and my creation of a wedding playlist, which has about 4 songs from the film's soundtrack on it.
A bit of background history first (that makes this post sound really exciting, I know): I was a bit obsessed with this play when I was younger. I read it before it was ever on my school syllabus (so you know I was serious) and when this film came out in 1996 (aargh! Again- I'm old etc) the obsession grew! We had to watch this and Federico Fellini's version during English class for the Junior Cert.
Fellini's version didn't really do it for me to be honest. While I still loved Shakespeare's prose and the story itself, the almost revolutionary way that Luhrmann applied this story to film astounded me. It astounded others too, but in very different ways. A girl in my class was very confused by the modernisation of the play and because Mercutio gives Romeo drugs in Luhrmann's version to signify the effect of Queen Mab, she thought Shakespeare had originally also meant for his characters to be all high on Ecstasy. Eh, not so much. Tragic Love story, yes. Tragic tale of a few youths off their faces, no.
"Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say goodbye till it be morrow"
One of my favourite quotes.

Anyways, while I loved all the actors portrayal's of their characters (including Claire Danes, Leonardo Di Caprio, Pete Postlethwaite and Paul Rudd), Tybalt (John Leguizamo) and Mercutio (Harold Perrinea-yer man from Lost) were always particular favourites. They just seemed exactly how Shakespeare had drawn them, only all cool and with guns and the like.

Tybalt, scary but with impressingly well-groomed facial hair:

Mercutio, way too cool a character to be hanging around with Romeo. He was right to put a plague on his house in fairness, I'd have done the same, the big feckin' eejit.

Aside from the actors, I also adored the use of music, the sets, the costumes, the amazing soundtrack itself, the continuous use of religious imagery and the stunning use of colour:

Apparently there is now talk of another remake, starring Haylee Steinfeld from True Grit and Ed Westwick, of Gossip Girl fame. Groan. I don't think any adaptation can ever compare and certainly not exceed Luhrmann's and I know this from experience, having made the fatal (total exaggeration) mistake of going to an open air production of the play in the grounds of Trinity last Summer..lets just say, it wasn't good. But then theres a fair chance that I may just be a little bit biased after the million times I've watched it..and now for the sad ending:

I'm not sure theres enough depressing lit-up crosses in this part though, maybe thats something they could work on in the remake. Ahem.



  1. Even though I'm a horror movie fan, I loved this movie. It's one of the best love stories, and Leo and Claire were perfect for the role. I couldn't but love everything about it. I was looking for a good movie to watch, so I'll watch it again tonight!
    Thanks for the fab review!

  2. Thanks Ria!
    I'm also a horror fanatic (really looking forward to the Cabin in the Woods-it's gotten great reviews and Joss Whedon is involved,which can only mean good things!) but like you, I just love this too.
    Enjoy the movie!
    CeeCee xx