Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s tragic drama of the “star-crossed” young lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. In the movie Luhrmann has cut off a few lines and partial roles to make the movie how it is today. The lines that were cut off were replaced with visuals yet there are two major key events that were largely affected by the change which include when the two love birds first meet at the masquerade ball and second their death scene, the last moment they had together. The masquerade ball was taken at the Capulet’s home.
This scene includes the dramatic moment when the lovebirds first cross-eyes together. Luharmann had adapted many elements from the original play in the Capulet ball scene yet left out a few. In the book the scene where they first meet was at the masquerade ball. Where everyone wore masks, was formally dressed, there was peaceful music which expressed that it was a formal and high-class event. Where as in the movie it was adapted to party’s nowadays, a wild party with costumes, alcohol and very loud music.
In the book Shakespeare used dialogue to express each character but in the movie they used costume to express each character. Each costume leads you to understand their personality. The whole scene starts off when the Montagues enter the party uninvited. Setting in this scene was very important, in the movie the ball was help in an enormous mansion with very modern features yet in the book it was taken also at the Capulet’s home but it was less developed. Music was a major factor in this scene, the music started off with a wild song, which welcomed them and put everyone in the mood and in the movie.
The plot had very few changes. In the movie Romeo was given drugs by Benvolio, which led to Romeo forgetting about Rosaline. Yet in the play he was given advice from Benvolio. Another factor in the plot is when Romeo first catches his eyes on Juliet. The music is calm and romantic he sees her through a water tank but in the book he sees her through the mask while she is dancing with Paris. The water tank was some type of mask. The death scene, the final part is the most important scene.
In that scene the church was covered in beautiful fresh flowers surrounding her, the entire room lit up with candles, and many crosses to symbolize her religion. In the play though Romeo finds Juliet at the graveyard in the dark. Props are also a key feature, in the movie Juliet shoots herself with a gun but in the original play it was a dagger. The finale returned to the television when breaking out such major news, which is another difference from the original play because in the play it was a chorus who spoke but in the movie it was by the news again to make it more modern and a better comparison for the audience.
The plot was hugely affected to make the movie more dramatic, in the play Friar John failed to send the fax to Romeo but in the movie the mailman couldn’t deliver the message to Romeo. Another change is when Romeo is buying the poison from the Apothecary he was also being chased by the police, they found out that Romeo was in Verona and chased all the way to the church. Adding to that Romeo uses a hostage and holds up a gun to his head, which also adds up to the tension in this scene.
This scene included a large portion of camera effects especially during the car chase to make it more dramatic between Romeo and the police. During the car chase scene it was an opera music it started of with high volume then decreased it low volume when Romeo entered the church and saw Juliet, then when he got closer to Juliet the music became louder and lower which expresses the mood changes and the tension in the air. He then puts the ring on her finger, which symbolizes that not even death breaks the bond of the two.
Also Juliet opens her eyes and actually wakes up while Romeo is drinking the poison and touches him the second he drinks it which creates an insane amount of tension to the audience and leaves you with may “what if?… questions. Until the last moment you’re thinking it’s going to be happily ever after and they’re going to run away together. After the death scene though they show them happy moments of the both of them with an advanced camera movement (montage) expressing that they will be united together again in heaven. In the ending of the play the two families united through the deaths.
In the movie, that scene was cut off due to it being irrelevant which made it seem more tragic. Luhrmann successfully transferred the movie to a modern version. He also managed to keep the Shakespeare story alive yet keep it fresh and interesting for nowadays viewers. Translating Shakespeare’s work into a movie is hard to do because Shakespeare’s writing is so powerful and full of meaning, Its almost impossible to be done. Though in some ways, I rathered the book because it included a lot more detail. Overall it was a well done movie and greatly translated.