Romeo and Juliet: The Movie
I believe that this play/movie is based off of a conflict theory. The reason I say this is because both
families here are trying to gain power and also trying to be the dominant family. As I go into detail on
this movie it will explain the conflict theory.
William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is fully summarized in Shakespeare's prologue: "Two
households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to
new mutiny where civil blood make civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a
pair of star crossed lovers who take their life" (Universal, 1996). This movie is a ...view middle of the document...
The truck sped
loudly down the road. Stringy electric guitars and booming drums thump a loud vengeful beat. The
Montague boys took the scene, standing up in the back of the truck waving their guns and shouting. At
this point, I was hooked. The music had lured me in. It gave the scene life, and, in turn, the scene gave
life to the music.
Leah Rozen of People Weekly would disagree. She states there should be some sort of disclaimer to
warn audiences about "mistaking the audacious version of his (Shakespeare's) star crossed teen lovers
for an extended music video." For her, this movie should have been called Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and
Juliet; Rozen says the director plunked down the tragic romance into a "modern urban hellhole." Within
this hellhole, are "warring gangs, piled on religious iconography, and pointless water imagery, and, oh
yes, Mercutio is a singing drag queen." Rozen says what's missing amid the "frantic activity and eye
candy" is the poetry. She says there is nothing wrong with updating a classic, but hopes this "rocket
fueled Romeo and Juliet won't be the only version its young audience ever sees. That would be a
I found the introduction to the movie to be riveting. It certainly got my attention as well as many
others in the theater. Without all the effects I just mentioned above, this movie would be yet another
classic Shakespearean lullaby. It is exactly the loud audacious introduction and the surreal setting that
lift the audience up to a level far and above appreciating Shakespeare. Instead the audience is
vivaciously enjoying a riveting, supersonic movie. For this romantic tragedy to be set in Verona Beach,
an "urban hellhole" would not have been my first choice either. But the fact Rozen is leaving out is that
the setting of Verona Beach worked, and in my opinion it worked well. Watching the colorful images of
Verona Beach on television movie-previews persuaded thousands of movie goers to check it out. Even
though it's not what I had in mind, nor what Shakespeare probably had in mind centuries ago, it doesn't
matter, this is not my, nor Shakespeare's movie. Rather it belongs to director Baz Luhrmann. He felt
Romeo and Juliet was a timeless story, that it could be told any place at any time.
While this movie has many similarities to present day life, you cannot disregard the fact Romeo and
Juliet was written a few centuries ago. There are certain things in the original dialogue that would not
have flown in a big city like Atlanta or Los Angeles. The director intrigues his audience by making the
setting familiar enough to where you can identify with the character, but are unfamiliar enough to
where you do not get bored with hum-drum reality. For instance, we recognize the cars, trucks, and
limousines, but we've never seen any like them before. They are specially created for the movie. What
about the city's...