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Romeo + Juliet [DVD] [1996]


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Product details

  • Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, Brian Dennehy, John Leguizamo, Peter Postlethwaite
  • Directors: Baz Luhrmann
  • Producers: Baz Luhrmann, Gabriella Martinelli
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Mar. 2002
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UWN2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 408 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Shakespeare's play is transferred to the futuristic urban backdrop of Verona Beach, California. The Montague and Capulet families are embroiled in a long-running feud. When Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio), a Montague, attends a Capulet ball in disguise, he falls in love with the beautiful Juliet (Claire Danes). Although already engaged to Dave Paris, whom she does not love, Juliet vows to marry Romeo. They ask the kindly Father Laurence to perform the ceremony in secret, but bloodshed and tragedy threaten the couple's future together.

From Amazon.co.uk

While perhaps not the defining moment in the making of Leonardo DiCaprio’s career, his appearance in this dazzling take on William Shakepeare’s Romeo & Juliet back in 1996 did the careers of both Clare Danes and himself no harm at all. Perhaps the real star of the show here though is director Baz Luhrmann, who employs a frenetic, at times downright-brilliant style to the age-old tale of tale of star-crossed lovers. Luhrmann would go on to make Moulin Rouge a few years’ later.

From the off, his take on Romeo & Juliet explodes unpredictably onto the screen, bubbling with vision and originality, accompanied throughout by an excellent score and soundtrack that rightly spawned two spin-off CDs. There are sacrifices made along the way to support Luhrmann’s vision though, with the text being stripped down to leave the core of the story in tact, and that’s just one of a number of complaints that Shakespeare purists may have.

And yet, perhaps more than any other attempt to bring the work of the Bard to the screen of late, this is an extremely accessible entry-point to Shakepeare’s work. That it’s also by turns breathtaking, dazzling and a sheer joy to watch doesn’t harm its cause either. The two leads are charming, the support cast backs them up superbly, and the end result is one of the most interesting visual treats that Hollywood mustered up throughout the 1990s.--Simon Brew

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By S. Paterson on 25 July 2009
Format: DVD
Okay so when you first begin to watch this movie your so close to branding it over dramatic, Americanised drivel. I'll admit it I nearly turned it off...then when Leo Dicaprio smoldered onto the screen and began versing in the perfect words of old Shaky himself I sat up and listened. Never could I imagine a better choice of a young brooding Romeo than he. He plays the role with youthful innocnce, passion and is just utterly captivating. Clare Danes wouldnt have been my perfect Juliet..granted, but she is fresh looking and truly beautiful and by the end of the movie I had warmed to her and her infectious smile. The chemisrty between these two is almost tangible its so real. What convincing and memorable preformances!
You must see this movie...its like marmite. Some will feel the that this film isnt a true reflection of the oridginal works and dismiss it as another dull remake. But in relaity its so much more than that. Its a modern take done on a true classic that keeps the spirit of these charaters alive and the story as tragicly heartbreaking as ever.
On a side note the soundtrack is perfect. The setting sets the tone amazingly well and the direction although sometimes over the top and a little silly (opening gas station scene) is pretty dam good.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Old Wealden on 6 Feb. 2008
Format: VHS Tape
The opening sequence of this film includes arial shots of an American city in which a church spire is dominated by two much taller skyscrapers belonging to the chief businesses there. Visually, this sums up one of the important themes of the play, how material values in Verona have become more important than spiritual ones. There are many more ways in which this film intelligently translates Shakespeare's words into pictures. Particularly enjoyable is the way in which, at the Capulet's party, all the major characters play a symbol of themselves: Tybalt is a devil, Lady Capulet is Cleopatra, Mercutio is a transvestite, Juliet is an angel, and though Romeo begins as an astronaut, he ends up looking far more like a knight in shinning armour. The text is very much shorter than we might expect and few of the actors speak the text with much lyricism but anyone who has to teach this play might do a lot worse than ask students to compare and contrast this with Zeffirelli's version, but beware, your discussion could go on for several sessions.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Eileen on 8 Dec. 2005
Format: DVD
I hear so many people say that this film 'butchered' Shakespeare but I strongly think otherwise. Prepare yourself to see a modern twist of the classic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. It is a feast for the senses with lavish sets, a hip soundtrack, colorful costumes, and cutting edge direction. Leonardo and Claire give heart-wrenching performances. I think that Shakespeare would be pleased because this film really captures the raw teen-angst that the star-crossed lovers experienced. So, expect to see something different, and you just might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Feb. 2002
Format: DVD
Two fantastic films by director Baz Luhrmann that will each enchant the viewer.
Romeo and Juliet turned an old classic love story into a modern masterpiece which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the film (even though I, as do many others already know the ending!) Set in Verona, it's use of antiquated Shakespearean language is given a modern twist in the context that the film is set in, with the use of modern props like cars. The two stars Leonardo DiCaprio (Romeo), and Claire Danes (Juliet)are very believable in their roles of the tragic star crossed lovers led by fate, each going against their families wishes to pursue their love for one another.
Moulin Rouge is a musical in which Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman deliver an outstanding performance in the roles of Christian and Satine. It will make you laugh, and guaranteed it will make you cry as the tragic love story is revealed. I didn't see one dry face as I walked out the cinema after the film had ended.
Try and see how many modern songs you recognise as they are joined together to make the story even more emotive, and look out for a cameo appearance by pop star Kylie Minogue.
Two tragic love stories that the director has successfully modernised to contrast with the old periods in time in which the films are set.
Don't forget your box of tissues for two emotional rollercoasters!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pugwash on 2 May 2009
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Forget the Shakespeare; this is a damn good film in its own right - if a record is going to be covered or a film of a classic drama made, then it ought to be done as differently as possible; there are plenty of faithful adaptations of The Bard's most famous play if that's what you want - hats off to Baz Luhrmann for being bold enough to reinvent the classic story of star-crossed lovers. Great performances (especially Harold Perrineau as the mercurial (geddit?) Mercutio, and Claire Danes as a stunning Juliet. Deserves five stars and gets 'em.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Mar. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This isn't like any Shakespeare you'll have ever seen. This isn't like anything you'll have ever seen. Shot in a style which makes NYPD Blue look sedate, Baz Luhrman's version of Romeo and Juliet is one to take the breath away. The story is the same, the setting totally different. Placed in a world of pimps and drugs, crime and revenge Romeo and Juliet sizzles with the wit, energy and passion that the bard deserves. The acting throughout is superb with DiCaprio and Danes in especially good form. John Leguizamo's Tybalt also deserves a mention as a brilliant characterisation. This has to be the best version of Romeo and Juliet around. With a brilliant soundtrack, incredible camera work and of course the incomparable script this film is a work of art that deserves to be seen time and time again
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