Start Romeo romeo juliet juliet speed dating

Romeo romeo juliet juliet speed dating

Russell Jackson explains that both ‘Franco Zeffirelli (1968) and Baz Luhrmann (1996) – appealed to a youthful audience by casting young Actors as Romeo and Juliet and presenting the conflict between generations within a contemporary context.’[8] In casting youthful actors, the directors made them more appealing to a teenage audience.

He remarked that ‘we’re trying to make this movie rambunctious, sexy, violent, and entertaining the way Shakespeare might have if he had been a filmmaker.’[33] To do this, he not only had to update the setting and the weapons, but the characters; to make them believable and to fit into a modern society.

In developing Shakespeare for a younger audience, Zeffirelli enhanced Shakespeare’s reputation as not just for the scholarly and intellectual, but also for the entertainment of the young.

Luhrmann directed his adaptation to what Patricia Tatspaugh describes as the ‘MTV generation or teenagers roughly the age of Romeo and Juliet.’[27] Many critics saw this as a downfall of Luhrmann’s adaptation, dismissing it as, ‘postmodern tom-foolery.’[28] It did however encourage teenagers to see his film.

The sexually ambiguous portrayal of Mercutio has also sparked critical controversies.

Luhrmann depicts him as a ‘buff, drag queen’[37] during the costume ball scene, which can be argued is not just a costume, but a way in which he ‘expresses gender confusion and anxiety.’[38] It can also be argued that Luhrmann is not simply creating ethical and sexuality diversity in his film to replicate today’s society, but is continuing what other directors before him have begun.

Through this, Lehmann explains that ‘we glimpse the postmodern confrontation between Shakespeare, Zeffirelli and Luhrmann’s sex, drugs and rock-an-roll rendition of star-crossed love through the magnifying glass of a rabid intertextuality.’[13] To contrast the fast paced excitement of the dances, both directors use a slow song for the actual meeting of Romeo and Juliet; in both films this song then becomes the theme for Romeo and Juliet’s love.

The song ‘kissing you, which comes to function in the film as Romeo and Juliet’s personal love theme, much in the same way that Nino Rota’s arrangement does in Zeffirelli’s adaptation.’[14] In Zeffirelli’s adaptation, this scene is a kind of hide and seek between Romeo and Juliet, each searching for the other in a childlike game, their young faces contrasted with the disapproving looks of the older folk around them.

The use of song is particularly important to the sequence of Romeo and Juliet’s meeting in Luhrmann’s adaptation, which plays as their eyes meet through an aquarium.