Romeo and Juliet Analysis (Film)

Discuss Baz Lurhmann’s representation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with particular reference to at least two scenes.

In Baz Lurhmann’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” which represents the boundaries of courtly love. Lurhmann explores love and loyalty and they are presented as powerful yet dangerous elements throughout the vibrant film. Baz Lurhmann is connecting with a different audience than Shakespeare due to the changed context, through the expression of many different yet separate ideas. Lurhmann chose to modernise this appropriation of this Shakespearean classic to satisfy and engage contemporary audience with the classical text. The audience is satisfied because he has predominately maintained Shakespeare’s poetry in a modern society.

Baz Lurhmann creates a modern setting for Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” by inter-textualising the original Shakespearean text into a contemporary society. The film begins with the rock music of the popular culture in Los Angeles. This emphasises the modern culture that Lurhmann has chosen to depict this remake. It allows young audience to understand the meaning of the classical play in contemporary terms. The main themes of the play are the passionate love of the young lovers and the family feuds. Lurhmann has edited to suit the main themes to suit the American contemporary audience and setting. Furthermore, Lurhmann has replaced the original place of the play which is Verona, Italy, with “Verona Beach” and the mise-en scene high with Catholic imagery that is drenched with colours and punk iconography.

Also, Lurhmann has changed the traditional family feud to a turf business war between the two families and their companies; the Capulet party is in a club scene and Verona as a harsh state of crime. All these changes highly manipulate the Shakespearean poetry to go with the modern setting of the American pop culture. In addition to the characters being updated from the original play, many of the...