Romeo and Juliet…

Here’s a movie I had to share….because it’s one of the movies I adore even many many years after I saw it first time…

First of all, I am huge huge fan of Shakespeare and Baz Luhrmann and those two coming together to make a movie, it’s my dream come true…

I love Shakespeares tragic story of romeo and juliet, I have read it so many times in so many versions, played it in high school, it’s just one of those masterpieces that will always stay classic…and Baz Luhrman, he is know for making the movies into art…the way he shoots, the scenes, wardrobe, makeup, music…everything in my opinion is excellent…Two of his most famous movies are Moulin Rouge and Romeo and Juliet...and these are also two of my all-time favorite movies that I never get tired of watching and always always get teary…

Mostly I judge movie by their soundtrack…if they have memorable songs soundtrack it’s first thing I like….then I need good actors and memorable quotes that you can remember later on in defying moment in your life…This judgement doesn’t apply for comedies, but for everything else pretty much thats the case with me…

Those two movies of Baz have everything…the Soundtracks – Amazing! Actors – amazing! quotes – plenty! and the way it is shot….

Many guys mostly, would not prefer to watch this movie only because they think it is a love story, but it is not…Baz made it into fabulous art work of action, crime, love and music…I honestly believe it’s fabulous, and even though, I am truly NOT a fan of Leonardo Dicaprio (I usually avoid watching movies with him), I ignore that fact in this movie…

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I strongly suggest you do…and get the soundtrack, it’s made out of songs that you don’t get tired of and the movie – every scene, every actor – it’s just brilliant! Well at least I am very fascinated by it, you judge yourself=)

For those, who are not familiar with the story or the movie, here’s some introduction to the story…

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It is among Shakespeare’s most populararchetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.

Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare’s original.

Shakespeare’s use of dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story, has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the sonnetover the course of the play.

The film is an abridged modernization of Shakespeare’s play. While it retains the original Shakespearean dialogue, the Montagues and the Capulets are represented as warring business empires and swords are replaced by guns (manufactured by ‘Sword’).

Some of the names were also changed. Lord and Lady Montague and Lord and Lady Capulet were given first names (as opposed to the Shakespeare original where their first names are never mentioned), Friar Lawrence became Father Lawrence, and Prince Escalus was renamed Captain Prince.

Additionally, a few plot details unimportant to the grand story arc were shifted; most notably, Juliet awakens just as Romeo poisons himself and the two see each other alive before he dies and she commits suicide.

Interesting Facts:

A number of important moments (and a lot of trivial ones) involve water. When we first see Juliet, she is holding her head under water; when Romeo and Juliet first see each other, it’s through a fish tank; the balcony scene is moved from a balcony to a swimming pool; Mercutio is killed at the beach; when Tybalt is shot, he falls into a pond; when the banished Romeo comes to Juliet’s room he is drenched from the pouring rain, and when he leaves the next morning he falls into the pool again.

Claire Danes wears a wig throughout the movie and also had a special aquatic wig for her underwater scenes.

The film runs for exactly two hours, in line with the prologue which states: “Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage”.

Baz Luhrmann sent British alternative-rock band Radiohead a videotape containing the last 20 minutes of the movie and asked them to make a song for the end credits. They composed the song “Exit Music (for a film)”, which appeared on their 1997 album “OK Computer” (the director has said in the DVD commentary that he believes it’s one of the best exit themes ever written)

Leonardo DiCaprio’s version of Romeo’s speech at Juliet’s bier was so good it movedClaire Danes to tears, nearly ruining the scene. The moment the director yelled “cut!,” Danes smacked DiCaprio on the arm and said, “Don’t make me cry. I’m supposed to be comatose, here!”

Claire Danes’ rendition of Juliet’s line “I long to die!” is sampled in the background of the Evanescence song “Tourniquet.”

The opening gas station encounter took 7 days to film with 2 days of pick-ups in Vera Cruz.

The Jesus statue that dominates Verona was actually a visual effect. In reality, it was 2 feet high.

In an effort to drum up the necessary funds from the backers, Leonardo DiCaprio flew to Australia on his own dime and performed an on-spec audition video with Baz Luhrmann.

The music playing as Juliet shoots herself at the end of the film is Isolde’s ‘Liebestod’ from Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde, where it is used in the exact same context.

All the guns in the film are named after types of swords.

Few memorable quotes:

Juliet: And when I shall die, take him and cut him up in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will fall in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.

Romeo: I am Fortune’s fool!

Father Laurence: Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.

Mercutio: If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking and you beat love down.

Juliet: My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me that I must love a loathed enemy.

Romeo: I dreamt a dream tonight.
Mercutio: And so did I.
Romeo: And what was yours?
Mercutio: That dreamers often lie.

Soundtrack:

  1. “#1 Crush” – Garbage – 4:47
  2. “Local God” – Everclear – 3:56
  3. “Angel” – Gavin Friday – 4:19
  4. “Pretty Piece of Flesh” – One Inch Punch – 4:53
  5. “Kissing You (Love Theme from Romeo + Juliet)” – Des’ree – 4:58
  6. “Whatever (I Had a Dream)” – Butthole Surfers – 4:09
  7. “Lovefool” – The Cardigans – 3:19
  8. “Young Hearts Run Free” – Kym Mazelle – 4:16
  9. “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)” – Quindon Tarver – 1:43
  10. “To You I Bestow” – Mundy – 3:59
  11. “Talk Show Host” – Radiohead – 4:17
  12. “Little Star” – Stina Nordenstam – 3:40
  13. “You and Me Song” – The Wannadies – 2:55
10th Anniversary re-release bonus tracks
  1. “Introduction to Romeo” – Craig Armstrong – 2:07
  2. “Kissing You (Love Theme from Romeo + Juliet) Instrumental” – Craig Armstrong – 3:33
  3. “Young Hearts Run Free (Ballroom Version)” – featuring Kym Mazelle, Harold Perrineau & Paul Sorvino – 3:27
  4. “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) ’07 Mix” – Baz Luhrmann featuring Quindon Tarver – 7:10

Trailer:

Radiohead:

one of my favorites…

Sincerely,

S.

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