Vicenarian Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss. Excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
The classic story of Romeo and Juliet, set in a modern-day city of Verona Beach. The Montagues and Capulets are two feuding families, whose children meet and fall in love. They have to hide their love from the world because they know that their parents will not allow them to be together. There are obstacles on the way, like Juliet's cousin, Tybalt, and Romeo's friend Mercutio, and many fights. But although it is set in modern times, it is still the same timeless story of the "star crossed lovers".
All the guns in the film are named after types of swords. The handguns belonging to Benvolio (SWORD 9mm Series S), Mercutio (DAGGER 9mm) and Tybalt (RAPIER 9mm) are Taurus PT99 9mm Parabellum pistols, identifiable by the adjustable rear sights. The handguns used by Romeo, Sampson and Gregory (DAGGER .45s) are Para-Ordnance P-13 .45 caliber pistols. In the scene where Mercutio is holding Romeo's pistol, it changes to a Para-Ordnance P-14. The other handguns used by Abra and Petruchio are a two-tone and reverse two-tone Beretta 92FS 9mm pistol. Ted Montague's "Longsword" is actually a South African MAG-7 shotgun. See more »
Juliet's hand and gun after she shoots herself. See more »
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, whose misadventured piteous overthrows doth, with their death, bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-marked love and the continuance of their parents' rage, which, but their children's end, naught could ...
See more »
This is not Shakespeare's best play, but it has his best poetry; that's
because the play is ABOUT language, about the difference between what
something is and the language used to describe it. So among the plays, this
may be one of the hardest to film. But alas it suffers from another blessing
which is also a curse: the story itself is so powerful that one can build
any sort of film or play or whatever around it and have it be likely to
work. Thus, we often lose the language.
Zefrelli made his own choices in the earlier film; these were relatively
conventional. While it cut some valuable language, sacrificed to the gods of
contemporary patience, it is by far the better version. But here we have
some interesting choices.
First the setting. Italians to Shakespeare's England were a comical people,
and his setting of the play there would have encouraged the audience to
bring heavy stereotypes to the drama. Latins in his day were considered:
Foppish: Quick to violence (a stereotype that has been inherited by blacks
today, but to Londoners, Italians were nearly Africans): Incredibly proud
especially as regards slights to masculinity: Obsessed with
Today, we roll those up under the relatively crude notion of stupid Latin
macho. In this film, the director has exaggerated the Latin macho ethic to
have the same effect 16th century Londoners would get. It works because
these stereotypes are powerful memes which attract many hosts which
perpetuate their underlying truth. Baz adds the additional dimension of the
people being captured by the superstitious underbelly of the
He deliberately straddles the border between apparent truth and satire.
These Latins are superficial visually and not verbally. So here is the
solution to the problem on how to make a film (which is primarily a visual
medium) out of a play that leverages poetic language. The solution is to
convert all the metaphors from language to vision. Hence the much-noted lack
of poetry. I imagine Baz directing the players to not worry so much about
Both Romeo and Juliet are incapable of performing the poetry anyway: they
are children learning on the job. And what acting skill they have from film
is all in the face, not the tongue. They are pretty enough
I like this film for its boldness. Some of the experiment works since we get
the message of the difference between what we see and what is true. This is
why Juliet has to see a LIVE Romeo at the end. Living under water is used to
good effect. But in the real play, there are so many and such subtle
explorations of the theme, and these are scoured away here for a few broad
effects. The real message, which comes through loud and clear if you know
the play (or even Zefrelli's film) is not the distance between the reality
of events and the language, but the reality of the richness of the real play
and this film. Equally vast. Equally powerful statement. So we have a
playhouse with the back part blasted out to the sea.
As a separate matter, the play has three anchors: Mercutio, the Friar and
the Nurse. These are handled interestingly here.
The Friar is an alchemical master hiding under the cloak of the Church. The
play equates the magic of language with the magic of potions, equally
deadly. The congruence is lost in this film, but Baz definitely gets the
magic part as well as the superfluous ritual of the church. This friar is a
terrific, memorable performance of someone who believes he can defeat
nature. Serves as an anchor as intended.
The Nurse is the true domestic, raw nature, full of uncompromised loyalty
but ultimately compromised. Her character is lost here. We NEED to know
about the dead sister and why the nurse turns on Juliet in order to save her
life. Baz fails here, and so provides no center. For Shakespeare, she's the
white space on the palette.
Mercutio in the play is a emotionally engaged visionary mystic. We
understand that Romeo and Mercutio studied magic (`philosophy') abroad
together much as Hamlet and Horatio had. The dream they shared the night
before is the axis of the whole action: rather like the magic of the witches
in Macbeth. Baz gets this as well: Modern magic is what? Drugs. So Hamlet is
given a psychotropic by Mercutio before going to the party. Works for me,
because it allows everything to be visually blasted and inexorably tragic.
The whole thing after the party is a trip, see? It is why they can meet,
become entranced and arrange marriage after an hour or two. (Remember that
until this point Romeo is hopelessly smitten by Roseline.)
Anyone who wrestles with problems of filming the Bard and comes out alive
deserves my respect. This is a weird interpretation, but that's the
76 of 123 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?